News 2002
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  • Céline Laporte, a junior specialised in long jump (6,10m) and combined events, regularly well ranked in France's youth championships, will represent the country of her mother, Seychelles, from next summer onwards.

  • Kenyan runner Janet Ongera, failed a drug test (norandrosterone) last October in Reims' half-marathon (France) where she came second in 1h12'. She's been suspended for two years by her federation.

  • If Doha's 10km (Qatar) will be remembered for Haile Gebrselassie's new record, the race was also the first competition back for Kutre Dulecha who took a year out to give birth. She placed third behind her fellow countrywomen Tulu and Wami.

  • Discus thrower Frantz Kruger has decided to quit his medicine studies to pursue athletics full time. This year he had to miss the African championships because of exams, which almost cost him his spot in the African team for the World Cup. The South African also recently went to Finland to propose marriage to European triple-jump silver-medallist Heli Koivula.

  • South African Sunette Viljoen, who broke the javelin African record in Potchefstroom on December 7th (58,33m), is also a member of the national cricket team.

  • Mauritius's sprinters Fernando Augustin and Stephan Buckland finally decided not to go back to train in Dakar. The first one wanted to resume his studies, and the second to set up a business and follow courses in computer science. Their choice was certainly made easier by the presence on the island of their coach Hervé Stéphan whose job in Dakar has come to an end.

  • Mauritius lost its second best javelin thrower, Daflorence Edouard (43,32m), who died in a car accident.

  • Kip Keino High Altitude Training Centre, located in Eldoret, currently hosts nine athletes supported by the Olympic Solidarity Programme :
    - Kenyans Janet Chepkosgei (800m world junior champion in Kingston this year), Ezekiel Kemboi (3000m steeple) and Philemon Kibet (1500m)
    - Eritreans Simret Sultan and Ali Abdallah (5000m)
    - Sudanese Ismael Ahmed as well as three of his fellow countrymen who've recently arrived.
    The popularity of the centre, which can host 40 athletes, has been rising rapidly and the center regularly caters for private athletes. Mauritius has already sent runners several times to train for the Indian Ocean Games which will take place next summer.

  • The Dakar International Centre unveiled the list of the athletes who'll get assistance to train in the centre for the 2002-2003 season. They are:
    - Béatrice Kamboule, Idrissa Sanou, Olivier Sanou, Levy Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso),
    - Narcisse Tévoédjre, Souhalia Alamou (Benin),
    - Makaridja Sanganoko, Amandine Allou (Ivory Coast),
    - Hortense Bewouda, Carole Kaboud Mebam (Cameroon),
    - Vida Anim (Ghana),
    - Souko Koita Yay, Khadidiatou Camara (Mali),
    - Arnaud Casquette, Jonathan Chimier, Stephan Buckland, Eric Milazar, Ommanandsingh Kowlessur, Fernando Augustin (Mauritius),
    - Rosa Rakotozafy (Madagascar),
    - Ibifuro Tobi-West (Nigeria),
    - Kaba Badji Ndiss, Gnima Faye, Fatou Binetou Fall, Omar Loum, A´da Diop, Kene Ndoye, Amy Mbacké Thiam, Abdou Demba Lam (Senegal),
    - Didier Tchalla(Togo),
    - Talkmore Nyongami (Zimbabwe).

  • Algeria will organise two international meets next season. After being organised for the first time in Blida, the Sonatrach meet (funded by the national il company) will take place in Algiers on June 19 2003. The rising Khalifa group, that already sponsors soccer teams in Algeria and Marseille, decided to set its own competition, which will take place on July 15th. Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj and Ukraine's Zhanna Pintusevitch announced their intention to take part in the event

  • According to Algeria Pressa Service, Noureddine Morceli will return to competition on 10,000m and marathon next season.

  • 2002 was definitely not a lucky year for theBoulami family. After Brahim's positive doping test, his older brother Khalid Boulami - 5000m silver in 1995 and 1997 world championships and bronze medallist in Atlanta - got a life suspension from the Moroccan federation and was forbidden to have any activity related to athletics for ever. A technical advisor for Bahrain during the last Asian Games in Busan, he is accused of inciting Moroccan athletes to change citizenship. Four Morroccan athletes competed for Bahrain in Busan : Rachid Ramzi (gold medallist on 1500m), Mohamed Rached/Rachid Khouya (gold medallist on 800m), Zakaria Abdelhak/Abdelhak El Gourch (silver medallist on 10.000m and bronze medallist on 5000m) and Abdelkabir Loura´bi (8th on 1500m).

  • Kenyan runner David Kimani, a student at University of Alabama (13'10 on 5000m), is married to an American and has applied for American citizenship. Ghana's Samuel Okantey has become Irish. Yared Shegumo, a young Ethiopian athlete who stayed in Poland after 1999 World Youth Championships has applied for Polish citizenship. Former South-African Alaistar Cragg and former Kenyan Margaret Kerubo-Maury respectively ran for Ireland and France for the first time, at the last European cross-country champs.

  • Moussa Sissoko a hurdler from France/Mali, Moroccan runner Youssef Chatt and South-African sprinter Adri Schoeman have been banned two years for doping.

  • Paul Tergat's younger brother Francis Kipkuna lost his battle against liver cancer and died in Kenya at the beginning of the month, aged 25.

  • It seems that two Moroccan athletes, Naciri Ouadie (400m hurdles) and Hicham Chelif (400m) defected from the team during the transfer in London, on the way back from the World Junior championships.

  • Ugandan quartermiler Davis Kamoga annouced his retirement, explaining that injuries have made it impossible to get back to the level that was his in 1996 when he won the bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympic Games before getting silver in the world championships the following year.

  • South African hammer thrower Werner Smit was crowned world junior champion in Kingston, one year after winning silver in the world youth championships. An outstanding performance considering that he is self-coached, living too far from the closest athletics club. He is assisted by his two brothers, Dirk and Riian, who are also hammer throwers at the national level, and also gets advice from Chris Harmse, the country's best thrower, who invites him to share training camps from time to time.

  • Kenyan marathoner Lornah Kiplagat hopes to become a Dutch citizen soon.

  • Algerian high jumper Abderrahmane Hammad, bronze medallist in Sydney, has lost his younger brother Youcef, who recently died following a long illness.

  •'d like to support Francis Kipkuna, a graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Paul Tergat's younger brother, in his battle against liver cancer.

  • French sports daily L'Equipe announced that cross-country short race world champion Edith Masai failed a drug test in a French half-marathon last year and got a 3-month ban in France. She didn't have any problem with IAAF, however: the product in question, lidocain, isn't listed as a doping product by the IAAF contrary to WADA or the IOC.

  • They passed away in the month of May:
    - 1968 marathon olympic champion Mamo Wolde, only four months after being freed from Ethiopian prisons
    - Kenyan runner Joyce Chakua
    - Senegalese Youssoupha Sarr who had been competing for Southern Methodist University on 400m hurdles (50"40 in 2000) for two years.

  • Changes of allegiance:
    - The decision by young Namibian sprinter Sherwin Vries to acquire South-African citizenship is bad news for Namibia's 4x100m relay. This move is motivated by the financial security he will enjoy in his counry of adoption where he's been a student for two years.

    - Discus thrower from Central African Republic Michael Conjungo represented France for the first time in the European throws challenge on March 9/10 in Croatia.

    - Moroccan Brahim Lahlafi, 3rd in Sydney Olympics on 5000m, who is just back to training after a surgery for groin problems, was recently granted French citizenship. However he'll need to get an authorization from the Moroccan federation if he wants to compete for his new country.

    - Several athletes from Nigeria recently stated their wish to run for other countries. Sprinter Endurance Ojokolo could represent the United Kingdom where she was born, while Mercy Nku and quartermiler Clement Chukwu seem to have some contacts with Portugal.

    - Ibrahim Aden, a runner from Somalia (1'46 on 800 and 3'36 on 1500m) has become an American citizen in 2001.

  • 31/3: African athletes are developing an active presence on the web. Now you can learn more about Nigerian Falilat Ogunkoya, a bronze medallist on 400m, who just opened her personnal website. Fans of Ghanean athletics will appreciate triple jumper Andrew Owusu's initiative that intends to be a meeting point for Ghanean athletes and allow people to know more about them.

  • 31/3: Moroccan Nezha Bidouane, double world champion on 400m hurdles, decided to take a year off. She expecting her first child.

  • 25/3 Congratulations to Nouria Benida-Merah of Algeria, 1500m olympic champion in Sydney, who gave birth to a girl named Noor-Razane. The athlete will be resting until June when she starts her preparation for 2003 World and Arab championships.

  • Ethiopian runner Alene Emere has been suspended for two years by the Japanese federation after testing positive for nandrolone, according to Ethiosports.
    South-African sprinter Adri Schoeman tested positive on January 25 in Germiston for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. She says she was administered the drugwhile receiving a series of injections for backache when she gave birth to her child

  • Former Kenyan international Tito Sawe died from a cancer at the end of February. He was Kenyan team captain to the Seoul Olympics in 1988 where he took part in the 4x400m relay.

  • Amy Mbacke Thiam was rewarded by the Senegalese president for her world title on 400m. She's been granted a house, a car, a 600 Euro monthly wage and a preparation grant amounting to 4500 Euros. The road linking the national road to her homeplace will also get a tarmac.Other athletes, among whom Oumar Loum, Ibou Faye, Aida Diop, Gnima Toure and Tacko Diouf will also get a preparation grant.

  • South-African embassy in Uganda came to the aid of the training team formed by Davis Kamoga (400m bronze medallist in Atlanta OG) and Christopher Mugisha (A coach at Makerere College School) offering to buy running shoes and spikes to the 17 athletes. The group includes U-17 East African 400 meters champion Sarah Nambowa, Justine Bayiga, semi-finalist in the 400m at the last Commonwealth Games, 400m runner Francis Ogolla and 1500m runner Julius Acon. Davis Kamoga began asking for help at the beginning of February, as the team lacks basic things as spikes, money to pay the entrance fee to the stadium and even clothing.

  • News from Nigeria
    60m current world leader Chioma Ajunwa prepared for the indoor season in Houston (USA) with Mary Onyali.
    Saidat Onanuga, 400m hurdles bronze medalist in the 1999 All-African Games, is now residing in Canada and would like to get Canadian citizenship.
    Vivian Chukwuemeka, the African record holder in the shot put, just arrived at Azusa Pacific University in California three weeks ago and already set a new African record in Flagstaff (Arizona) on February 9th with a throw of 17,44m.
    Rosemary Okafor - who was 4th with the 4 x 400m team in Sydney and her boyfriend Victor Okorie -Nigeriafestival champion in 400 hurdles in 2000 - have been recruited by Middle Tennessee state University.
    Nigerian 800m champion Alice Nwosu is now attending the IAAF/AAC High Performance Training Centre in Dakar (Senegal).
    According to news, quartermiler Fatima Yussuf, has decided tostop running.
    Sprinter Francis Obikwelu, who wants to start representing Portugal, may have been in Nigeria for Christmas. He is currently training in Bahamas with his friend Abdul Aziz Zakari from Ghana.

  • 4/02: The Algerian 3000m steeple record holder Laid Bessou was seriously injured in a car accident, in Ifrane (Morocco) on January 31st.

  • 31/01: Three runners from Mauritius Menon Ramsamy, Dhananjay Jeetun et Natacha Monique, have flown to Kenya for a two-month training camp in the IAAF training center. They will be coached there by Paul Ereng.

  • 13/01: Sprinter from Mauritius Stéphane Buckland finally gave up his plans to go and run for Canada and came back to train in Dakar. The prospect of not being able to take part in the next Olympic Games, if he changed his citizenship, seems to have been a big deterrent.

  • 11/01: The president of Nigeria's federation Dan Ngerem suspended sprinter Endurance Ojokolo so long as she has not fixed her problems with the British social security systemconcerning the undue benefit of family allowances (See September 2001 archives).
Statistician Yves Pinaud, the specialist in African athletics, publishes each year in July the lists of the 100 best performances achieved by Africans the previous year, for all events.

You can find African Athletics 2001 (for a price of 16,77 €) or any previous number since 1979 (except 1981 and 1983)

on Polymedias' website

or by contacting

La Mémoire du Sport
103 rue de Paris
94220 Charenton-le-Pont FRANCE
Tel. 00 33 (0)1 48 93 10 10