The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 at its first congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation. This year was the federation’s 15th World Championships held in Beijing, China from 22nd to 30th August. It is the third largest sporting event in the world and saw a total of 205 nations turn out to compete.
Here are the highlights of Africa’s performance at the event.
- With a total number of 32 medals, Africa snagged 22% of the 144 medals won at the 2015 IAAF World Championships- more than Asia, South America and the CONCACAF* region combined.
- In total, Africa’s 12 gold medals earned $720,000 while the 11 silver medals earned $330,000. The nine bronze medals won also earned $180,000 thus bringing Africa’s total prize money earnings to $1.2 million dollars- 17% of the total prize money on offer.
- Julius Yego, 26, became the first ever Kenyan to win a gold medal in a field event. His 92.72m throw made him the third-longest thrower ever and the world’s best Javelin throw in 14 years. Yego is entirely self-taught.
- 19 year old Eritrean Ghirmay Ghebreslassie set the record for being the youngest winner ever of the marathon at the World Championships to record his country’s sole medal at the event.
- South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana, 23, shared the podium with the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt as he picked up a bronze medal in the 200 meters men final with a national record time.
- South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk reclaimed the African 400m record clocking a stunning lifetime best time of 43.48 secs to win the gold medal. He made history as the second-fastest 400m runner in World Championships history and the fourth-fastest all time.
- Genzebe Dibaba won Ethiopia’s first ever gold in the 1500m, men’s or women’s, at the World Championships on a successful fourth day.
- Kenya’s Olympic champion, David Lekuta Rudisha reclaimed the world title with victory in the men’s 800m in a time of 1:45.84.
- Kenya’s Nicholas Bett wrote his name into the history books with a stunning finish off the final hurdle to win the men’s 400m hurdles in a national record and world-leading time of 47.79 secs.
There were a total number of 52 participating African athletes. Out of these, Kenya had the biggest African delegation while South Africa, with 33 athletes, was the second biggest delegation and Morocco, with 22 athletes, was Africa’s third biggest delegation at the World Championships.
Africa took the front stage with their dazzling performance and they will not be soon forgetting it. However, with a total of 218 African athletes in participating, only 14.6 percent of participating Africans registered podium places and medals. There is space for improvement in terms of the number of Africans participating in the event, but definitely congratulations are in order for our African Champions!
*CONCACAF is the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football
Photo credits: bleacherreport.com
Information source: venturesafrica.com