Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All African Games: Endurance as Equestrian sport

(source: China, Peoples Daily Online)

The ninth All-Africa Games is to be unveiled on Wednesday in Algiers, capital of the North African country Algeria. The following is a brief introduction of this year''s edition of the Games.

The Algerian authorities have chosen Algiers, Tipaza town, Boumerdes and Blida town to host the games. The four venues are scattered over a radius of about 60 km, Kenyan media reported

According to material on the official web site of the Games, over 20 events will be held in this year''s games. The events for the disabled such as athletics, wheelchair basketball are also included in the timetable.

Equestrian sport will make its debut at the ninth Games and will involve endurance riding and show jumping. The sport was first included in the Olympic Games in 1900.

High-profile events will be athletics, swimming and weightlifting in which Africans conquer the world in past major international sports events. For athletics, three-time world cross country championship Edith Masai has predicted that the heated contest between Kenyans and Ethiopians will extend to Algiers.

Kenya has sent its ever largest team to the pan-African event since the country hosted the 1987 Games in its capital of Nairobi.What brings more limelight to the games is that it is part of the qualifiers for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in some events, while in other events like table tennis, it is the sole chance for African sports people to fight for slots of the Olympic Games. Many countries have attached importance to the process of choosing team members.

In addition, several athletes have said that their aim is not just to end up in the medal bracket but using the continental games to prepare for the World Championships in Osaka this August.

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