News 2004
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December 2004
  • Zimbabwe's quartermiler Talkmore Nyongani (45"09 in 2004) left Dakar HPTC and now trains in South Africa under Nico van Heerden, who is also Llewellyn Herbert's coach.

  • Kenyan marathoner Simon Biwott, sillver medalist at the 2001 IAAF World Championships, announced his retirement because of a persistent back-injury.

  • South African marathoner Ian Syster (PB: 2h07'06) and his two-month old son died in a car accident on December 25th.

  • After two years in Canada, Senegalese Ami Mbacké Thiam, 400m world champion in 2001, goes back training under Frenchman Hervé Stéphan, a former coach in Dakar HPTC who now lives in Paris. Hervé Stéphan also coaches Mauritius' sprinter Stéphane Buckland and French hurdler Naman Keita.

  • The Ghana Athletes Association, led by triple jumper Andrew Owusu, was granted 50.000 dollars over five years by the Maria Tsakos Foundation for promoting and developing athletics in Ghana.

  • Sprinter Stéphane Buckland was named Mauritius' Sportsman of the Year in presence of Frankie Fredericks. An article from Reynolds Quirin. His trip to Mauritius also led Fredericks to conduct workshops for the kids. Report.

  • South African Hestrie Cloete, high jump world champion and Olympic silver medallist, had a miscarriage in the tenth week of pregnancy. She doesn't think of coming back to competition though and considers herself as semi-retired for the next two-three seasons.

  • After a successful career on the track - 5000m bronze medallist at Gothenborg 1995 WC and silver medallist four years later in Sevilla - Moroccan runner Zahra Ouaziz starts a new career as a coach. Her first challenge ? To prepare Moroccan young distance runners for World Youth championships to be held in Marrakech in July 2005.

November 2004
  • Namibia's sprinter Frank Fredericks has just retired from competitive track and now wants to give back to the sport. He'll be in Mauritius from December 8-11. An article from Reynolds Quirin.

Octobre 2004
  • Moroccan runner Abdelkader Hachlaf, 1500m bronze medallist at the 2003 World indoors, got a two year suspension following a positive test (EPO) in April. In the end of July, Moroccan daily Aujourd'hui le Maroc announced that 800m specialist Khalid Tighazouine also failed a drug test (nandrolone), but it seems that no official sanction was taken yet.

September 2004
  • 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 2003 (for a price of 17 €) 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

  • Jean Sekpona of Togo, who took part in the Olympics on the 800m, defected his team and didn't come back home after the Games.

  • Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie and Gezahegne Abera, the marathon Olympic champion in 2000, underwent Achilles surgery in Finland.

  • After her removal from the Ethiopian team for the Olympics, officially due to poor shape, Berhane Adere was suspended for six months by her federation for "lack of discipline". She thus couldn't take part to the Brussels meet on September 3. The suspension was eventually lifted a few days later.

  • Algerian triple jumper Baya Rahouli, 6th in Athens, could have a try at heptathlon next season.

  • Bernard Lagat, 1500m silver medallist in Athens, will marry his long-time girlfriend Gwladys in the month of October.

August 2004
  • Former Moroccan champion Sad Aouita worked as a commentator for Al-Jazira during the last Olympic Games.

  • Tunisian athlete Awatef Ben Hassine, a bronze medallist in the 400mH and fifth placed in the 400m in the last African championships in Brazzaville, was disqualified from the summer's competitions after failing a drug test.

  • Zimbabwe's marathoner Elijah Mutandiro won't be able to take part to the Olympic Games after sustaining a stress fracture on his ankle. An application has been made to replace him by Abel Chimukoko.

  • A former Moroccan record holder in the hammer throw, Ahmed Chahine died on July 30th, aged 77.

July 2004
  • Wilfred Bungei's mother is a cousin to Henry Rono.

  • Gambia's sprinter Jaysuma Saidi Ndure, a bronze medallist on the 100m at the African championships, has been living in Norway for a year and a half.

  • South Africa's 400mH runner Alwyn Myburgh broke his elbow by tripping over a hurdle during training.

  • Kenyan runner Nicholas Kemboi, 2nd world best performer on 10.000m in 2003, finally went back on his decision to run for Qatar and will keep representing Kenya in the future.

  • Morocco's Dehiba Hind, holder of the best African performance on 1500m this season, got French citizenship just before the Olympic Games.

May 2004
  • Emile Djacba, a secretary-general for Cameroon's Sports and Youth ministry and high jump national champion from 1974 to 1976, died aged 49 in a car accident on his way back from Mount Manengouba race, where he had been representing the ministry.

  • Return to sports competition for 1996 long jum olympic champion Chioma Ajunwa, banned for life from athletics for drug offences : the policewoman has been registered in the Rivers State chess team to Nigeria Sports Festival that started on May 3rd.

April 2004
  • Algerian shot put thrower Khalil Slimani recently failed an out of competition drug test and got a two year suspension.

March 2004
  • Four athletes from Morocco defected after the cross-country world championships. They are two junior men Moulay Abdelhak Sahbi and Driss Bou-Aoui and two senior women Drissia Nadym and Soud Kanbouchia.

  • Qatar's runner Sultan Khamis Zaman, 8th in the short race at the cross-country world championships actually comes from Burundi. Onesphore Nkunzimana was welcomed by Qatar as his living conditions had become too precarious in Europe.

  • Egypt's Mustafa Taha Hussein, decathlon gold medallist at the All-African Games, and Saad Mohammed Ahmed, 2003 African junior champion in the same event, have moved to Mauritius to train in the Athletics International training center (CIAM).

  • All-African Games 110H gold medallist Berlioz Randriamihaja of Madagascar married fellow countrywoman Lantosoa Raharinjanahary, also a hurdler, on March 20.

  • Moroccan runner Asmae Leghzaoui, currently suspended for doping, gave birth to a daughter named Mayer on February 19th.

  • 10 athletes from Dakar's international training centre are about to spend three weeks in the Moroccan altitude training center of Ifran from March 9 to 29. They are mainly 200-400m runners (Aida Diop, Fatou Bintou Fall SEN, Delphine Atangana, Muriel Noah Ahanda, Carole Kaboud, Hortense Bewouda CMR, Eric Milazar, Fernando Augustin MRI, Talkmore Nyongani ZIM) and a 800m runner (Abdoulaye Wagne SEN).

  • Madagascar's former sprinter Hanitra Rakotondrabe got a 5-month grant from Leipzig university (Germany) to enhance her coaching skills.

  • Reigning high jump world champion Jacques Freitag will be out of action for the season and miss the Olympic Games because of a recurrence an ankle injury that already forced him to miss the 2002 summer season.

  • Algeria's high altitude center in Tikjda (1478m) will soon be equipped with a tartan track, following an agreement with Olympic solidarity and Mondo.

  • New episode of a long story, Kenyan runners Nicholas Kemboi (2nd world best performer on 10.000m for 2003) and James Kwalia, initially announced in Bahrain, now want to become citizens of Qatar, after the latter offered them better terms.

February 2004
  • Though he's achieved the Olympic standard, South African hammer thrower Chris Harmse won't go to Athens, as his religious beliefs prevent him to compete on Sunday, the day when the final takes place.

  • British coach John Woodcock, who is in Malawi as director of non-governmental organisation YONECO (Youth Network and Counselling), has offered his services to prepare local athletes for international competitions.

  • Kenyan runner John Cheruiyot, a two-time winner of the Amsterdam World Marathon, is facing prosecution for killing a Molo assistant chief. Former 800m world champion Billy Konchellah is being accused of rape and has been sent to jail before trial.

  • South African pole vaulter Fanie Jacobs had to be rushed to hospital after injuring his lower back due to dangerous competition conditions during the 2nd Absa meet held in Potchefstroom on February 13.

  • 1500m world junior champion in 1998, Morocco's Adil El Kaouch made his return to competition after two knee surgeries.

  • The African confederation set a circuit of eleven meets for 2004. The first meet will be held in Dakar (Senegal) on April 3 and will be followed by Bamako (Mali) on April 6, Nairobi (Kenya) on April 14, Mauritius on the 18th, Johannesburg (South Africa, date not known), Yaoundé (Cameroon) on May 8, Ndjaména (Chad) on May 12, Brazzaville (Congo) on May 16, Casablanca (Morocco) on June 19, Alger on June 24 and Tunis on June 27. The African championships will be held in Brazzaville from July 14 to 18.

  • The Moroccan town of Casablanca which announced his candidacy to organise the world championships in 2009 will be in competition with 7 other towns : Berlin (Germany), Bruxelles (Belgium), Valence (Spain), Split (Croatia), Brisbane (Australia), Daegu (Korea) and Delhi (India).

  • Tunisian athletes preparing for the Olympic Games are about to go to training camp. Steeplechaser Lotfi Turki will be in Ifran (Morocco) from January 29 to February 19, walker Hatem Ghoula will travel to Pretoria (South Africa) from 4-26 February and decathlete Hamdi Dhouibi will be training in Qatar for 40 days from February 2.

January 2004
  • Sudan seized the opportunity to shine on the international scene by recruiting triple jumper Yamilé Aldama, holder of the world best performance for 2003. Aldama opted for this solution after the Cuban authorities announced that no athletes living abroad would be allowed to represent Cuba. She had been, besides, trying to get British citizenship but the whole process was called into question since her British husband was sent to jail for drug traffic and had little chance to become effective before the Olympics next summer.

  • Nigerian sprinter Sunday Emmanuel passed away aged 25 following a road accident just a few days before his departure for Europe to compete indoors. He was African 200m vice-champion in Dakar in 1998, setting his personal best in the process (20"45). He also belonged to the team that won the 4x100m at the 2002 African championships in Tunis.

  • South African runner Josiah Bembe died on January 12, following a shooting incident. Born in November 1974, he had been selected three times in the national team over marathon : the 2001 world championships in Edmonton (dns), 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchseter (8th in 2h18'16) and recently the All-African Games in Abuja. He set his best time in Seoul in 2001 (2h11'49).

  • From mid-January, Tunisia's quartermiler Sofiane Labidi will move to Louisiana State University (United States) to prepare for the Olympics.

  • Uganda's runner Jafred Lorone was granted 6 millions shillings (about 2400 euros) for damages after being knocked by a taxi during a road race in Kampala at the end of last year.