Tag Archives: Tokyo Olympics

Malaika Mihambo crowned German Sportswoman of the Year

Malaika Mihambo was crowned German Sportswoman of the Year for the third successive year on Sunday (19) at the traditional Kurhaus Gala in Baden-Baden.

Mihambo completed the set of major titles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer by winning gold in the long jump with a season’s best of 7.00m.

This was her third major triumph in a row after winning gold at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin and the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Mihambo becomes the first sportsperson to win this coveted award three times in a row since retired discus thrower Robert Harting (2012-14) and the first sportswoman to do so since Steffi Graf who won four titles between 1986 -1989 and five in total.

Mihambo was the commanding favourite among the 980 sports journalists who submitted their votes.

The 27-year-old topped the voting with 1845 points ahead of fellow Olympic champions Aline Rotter-Focken in wrestling (942) and Ricarda Funke in canoe slalom (686).

Source: european-athletics.com

Italy furious after world’s fastest man excluded from 2021 Athlete of the year list

The Italian Olympic movement is furious over the exclusion of sprinter Marcell Jacobs from the nominees list for male athlete of the year by World Athletics, with a senior official calling it “a lack of respect” and “profoundly wrong.”

The sport’s governing body announced a list of 10 nominees for the prestigious award but found no room for the only man to win two golds on the track at the Tokyo Olympics. Jacobs was the surprise Olympic champion in the 100 metres – the signature event of track and field – and also helped Italy to gold in the 4×100 relay.

“It’s profoundly wrong,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò said Friday, a day after the nominees were announced. “We’re very upset.”

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, who tied for Olympic gold with Mutaz Barshim in his event moments before Jacobs won the 100, also failed to make the cut. Malagò said the omissions amount to “a lack of respect toward our two athletes.”

The 10 nominees are Joshua Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser, Mondo Duplantis, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Eliud Kipchoge, Pedro Pichardo, Daniel Stahl, Miltiadis Tentoglou, Damian Warner and Karsten Warholm. The nominees were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics. The winner will be announced in December.

Jacobs, also won the 60 meters at the European Indoor championships in March, did not compete after the Olympics, when he withdrew from his remaining Diamond League events to recover from a knee injury. “As always, the World Athletics Awards will recognise athletes who have performed at the highest level across the year, taking into account not only the Olympic Games, but the one-day meeting circuits,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

Source: stuff.co.nz

How Tokyo 2020 tested Kenya’s running dominance and revealed future threats

As a small developing nation, Kenya has consistently punched above its weight on the international sports arena, more so in athletics. This is reflected perfectly in the fact that 93% of Kenya’s 114 Olympic medals won between 1964 and 2021 are in track and field while the remaining seven came from boxing.

My closer examination of Kenya’s historical performances further reveals the country’s strengths to be in middle and distance events. These range from 800 metres around the track to the marathon. Of the 107 medals won in track and field, 101 (94.39%) were in middle and distance events – split between women (27.10%) and men (72.90%).

A number of factors are attributed to this consistent top-level performance. First is the early introduction of the sport in numerous settings going back to the colonial period. New talent was nurtured in regular school-based competitions running from local to national level.

Second is the mass recruitment of promising athletes into the uniformed forces. Here, sustained training under near-professional settings improved performances and stimulated competition for top places. Third, most athletes are born, raised and train at high altitude, which enhances their physiological efficiency.

Moreover, since the 1980s, the professionalisation of track and field and especially distance running opened doors for more talents to emerge and pursue earning a living from their running ability.

Kenya’s dominance however has historically been tested by Ethiopians. More recently, the challenge comes from the emergence of Uganda, cementing the place of East Africa as the powerhouse of distance running. Tokyo 2020 revealed the shape of the new challenge. It is the threat of talented fellow Kenyans as well as Somalis, Sudanese and Ethiopians who have switched allegiance in droves to better resourced countries outside Africa.

For example, Sifan Hassan, the Ethiopian-born runner who moved to the Netherlands as a refugee, won two gold medals in the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m as well as bronze in the 1,500m race. Abdi Nageeye, a Somali, ran for the Netherlands and won silver in marathon. He also encouraged another Somali, Bashir Abdi, running for Belgium, to win a bronze at the expense of Lawrence Cherono of Kenya. Yet another Somali, Mohammed Ahmed, won silver for Canada in the 5000m men’s race. Paul Chelimo, one of five Kenyans in team USA, won a bronze in 5000m ahead of Nicholas Kimeli of Kenya.

In Tokyo, these migrants denied their former African compatriots medals in men’s marathon, men’s 5000m, women’s 5000m, 10 000m, 1500m and women’s 800m. This no doubt contributed to a decline in medals won by Kenya, and even Ethiopia. This trend is likely to continue as the second generation of immigrants, such as Athing Mu of the USA, is going to hurt Kenya’s chances for more medals.

Tokyo 2020 takeaways

Tokyo, the venue of the 2020 Olympic Games, holds symbolic meaning for Kenya as the city where its long tradition of winning medals started. That was in 1964 when Wilson Kiprugut won a bronze in the 800m race. This time around, Kenya men won a gold and silver over that distance. The gold was the fourth in a row at the Olympics.

However, it was not all plain sailing. One of the most painful moments of the 2020 Olympics was the loss of the steeplechase title for men. Kenya won gold medals in 1968, 1972, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. For a country that dominates distance running, missing out on medals at this signature distance event is worth evaluating by Athletics Kenya. The team selection and preparation has to be better and the tactics have to be right for the moment.

But as the Tokyo Olympics showed, Uganda is gradually adopting the Kenyan playbook in running as they scooped two gold medals, one silver and one bronze in women’s steeplechase, 5,000m men and 10,000m men. What benefited Uganda was the dramatic decline of Ethiopia too as the latter normally win medals in 5,000m and 10,000m men’s events that the former won in this time around.

The dual threat of migrant athletes from the East African region and the emergence of Uganda sends a powerful message that Kenya needs to look beyond its core strengths moving forward. The emergence of new sprint hero Ferdinand Omanyala is a reminder that Kenya has its work cut out to invest more resources in short races.

Conclusion

Kenya’s 19th ranking at the Tokyo Olympic Games with 10 medals (four gold, four silver and two bronze) was once again the pride of Africa. It ranked third behind the USA and Italy in track and field.

However, the drop in medals, the emergence of Uganda’s middle and distance runners as well as the continued rivalry posed by East African migrant athletes should challenge the Kenyan sports leaders to push for more investment of resources in other areas where there is potential to win Olympic medals. This has to be a deliberate effort as the 33rd Olympiad in Paris, France is only three years away.

Wycliffe W. Njororai Simiyu, Professor, Health and Kinesiology, University of Texas at Tyler

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Eliud Kipchoge the history maker

Eliud Kipchoge wrote another history as the third man to defend his Olympic title when he defended his Olympic title at the Tokyo Olympics Games.

The 36-year-old Kenyan crossed the finish in a time of 2:08:38, to cement his status as the greatest long distance runner in history.

He joins the special club two of those who defended their Olympic titles in the marathon, Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia (1960, 1964) and East Germany’s Waldemar Cierpinski (1976, 1980).

Eliud Kipchoge defends his Olympic marathon title. Photo Creditd: Getty Images

He also holds the official world record with a time 2:01.39 that he set in 2018 and is the only human ever to have completed the 42km run in under two hours, which he did in an unofficial event in 2019.

Kipchoge was followed by Abdi Negeeye of Netherlands, who crossed the line in 2:09.58 to the take silver while Bashir Abdi of Belgium settled for bronze.

“Firstly I want to say thank you to everyone for the support and to those that made the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 happen,” Kipchoge told the BBC after his race win.

“I am happy to defend my title and to show the next generation, if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment.

“It was not really easy, but it was really hard for everybody if you consider the weather. I am happy to cross the finishing line as the fastest.

“Tokyo 2020 has happened, it is means a lot, it means there is hope. It means we are on the right track to a normal life. So we are on the track to our normal lives that is the meaning of the Olympics.

 

Dina Asher-Smith crashes out of 100m final

Dina Asher-Smith crashed out of the women’s 100m at the semi-final stage of the Tokyo Olympics.

However, Team GB’s Daryll Neita was able to secure the final fastest loser place with her semi-final run of 11 seconds flat.

Asher-Smith, the 100m silver medallist from the 2019 world championships, ran in the first of three semi-final heats and recorded a time of 11.05.

The 25-year-old’s time was well below her personal best 10.83 and season’s best[10.91.

Elaine Thompson-Herah won Asher-Smith’s heat, with Ajla Del Ponte taking the second automatic qualifying place.

Great Britain’s Asha Philip’s campaign also came to an end as she finished last in the second semi-final.

Kenya makes history in 3000m steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics

This year will be first time in Kenyan running history of not sending three athletes to the final in the nine Olympics games that Kenya has participated in.

Abraham Kibiwott and Benjamin Kigen are Kenya’s hope as Leonard Bett failed to make the cut at the Tokyo Olympics games that was held on Friday morning at the OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan

World silver-medalist Lamecha Girma from Ethiopia sailed to the final of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with the fastest time of 8:09.83.

The 20-year-old who took the second place at the 2019 world championships in Doha carries on his shoulders the world’s leading time of of 8:07.75 that he set at the Monaco Diamond League earlier this month.

This year’s 3,000m steeplechase finals that will be held on Monday will be wide open as the defending champion Conseslus Kipruto failed to qualify for the tournament and will not defend his title that he won in Rio Olympics five years ago.

The East African nation now now will put their hopes on Kibiwot, who pulled the second fastest time of 8:12.25.

“The race was good, it was actually fantastic,” he said. “Tokyo is hot, the temperature is high but we are hoping to make Kenya proud as usual.”

Benjamin Kigen who also qualified with a season best of 8:10.80 will partner with Kibiwott in making sure that steeplechase gold and silver comes homes.

The two Kenyans will face off with the ever green Lamecha and Getnet Wale who also made it to the finals.

Japan’s Ryuji Miura, 19, produced a national record timing of 8:09.92 to make it to the final, and he will have the support of the entire host nation to help challenge for medals.

Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, the 2017 world champion silver medallist in London and the bronze medalist in the championships in Doha also qualified for the finals. The 25 year old, goes to the finals with a personal best of 7:58.15 that he set in 2018 in Monaco.

Youth Olympian Alegna Osorio dies after being struck by hammer

Cuba’s Youth Olympics hammer thrower Alegna Osorio has died from head injuries he sustained in a training accident, the Cuban national sports institute said on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Osorio was struck by a hammer at a track and field stadium in Cuba in April.

And after going into coma, it has now been confirmed that she passed away on Tuesday as a result of her horrific head injuries.

“We share this unbearable pain with her family,” said Osvaldo Vento, the president of Cuba’s national sports institute.

Osorio placed fourth in the girls’ event at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympics and took bronze at the Pan-American under-20 championships two years ago.

The teenager’s death was noted at the Tokyo Olympics by United States hammer thrower Gwen Berry ahead of her event starting on Sunday.

Berry wrote on her Twitter account. “Sending love to her family during this time. This is so sad,”

Ankle injury rules out Geoffrey Kamworor

Three times world Half Marathon champion, Geoffrey Kamworor has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old is also the 2017 New York marathon, and previous world record holder had hopes of a medal in the 10,000m after winning the national trials.

Kamworor made the announcement through his Facebook account when he said, ” This week I had to make the tough decision to skip the Olympics. I’m feeling very fit and in great shape, but unfortunately a painful spot in my foot is preventing me from running 25 laps on spikes by next week.

Geoffrey Kamworor poses for a photo at the Global Communication Camp. Photo: Geoffrey Kamworor
I will build on the fitness I currently have and looking ahead towards great goals in the marathon in near future, see you soon.”

He won silver at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, behind Britain’s Mo Farah.

The injury comes after he was hit by a motorcycle while training near his home in June last year, suffering a fractured tibia.

Hassans agenda raises eyebrows

Sifan Hassan is poised to tackle a rare Olympic treble in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 metres in Tokyo, with her name entered in all three events as of Tuesday to set up a gruelling schedule in her bid for a first Games medal.

While the 28-year-old Dutchwoman could still pull out of one of them, the mere prospect of seeing her attempt all three turned heads this week, after her historic double gold in the 1,500 metres and 10,000 metres at the 2019 world championships.

“It’s a lot, but seems doable for her,” four-times Olympic sprint gold medallist Michael Johnson Tweeted. “Not sure about gold in all three though.”

Hassan’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hassan has become almost accustomed to beating the odds, setting a world record 4:12.33 in the mile in 2019, little more than a decade after she left Ethiopia as a 15-year-old refugee and moved to the Netherlands.

She began running at a high level after taking a class in the Netherlands in 2011, finishing her first 1,500 metres race in 4:20 and running a half marathon a couple days later in roughly an hour and 17 minutes.

She’s set lofty goals ever since.

“From day one I believed I am going to run (the) 1,500-metre (race) under 3:50 – I don’t know why I believed that, I don’t know why I say that,” Hassan told reporters in the lead-up to the Games. “I just believed that it is possible.”

But Hassan won’t just be chasing times in Tokyo – she’ll have plenty of competition to watch out for too.

In the 1,500 metres, there’s Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the reigning Olympic champion who beat her at the Monaco Diamond League meeting in a world-leading time of 3:51.07.

And in the 10,000 metres, Hassan has a chance to take revenge on Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who wiped out her world record last month after it had stood for only two days.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony boss sacked day before show

The director of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been dismissed after reports about his past comments on the Holocaust.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a briefing that Kentaro Kobayashi had been dismissed because of comments that made fun of the atrocity.

The opening ceremony of the delayed Olympic games is due to take place on Friday.

It comes after it emerged that Mr Kobayashi made light of the mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis in a script for a 1998 comedy act, including saying, “Let’s play Holocaust.”

Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Centre [SWC] had condemned what it called past anti-Semitic jokes.

Jewish groups condemned the jokes (Image: REUTERS)

SWC Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director, Rabbi Abraham Cooper said: “Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide.

“The Nazi regime also gassed Germans with disabilities. Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews and make a cruel mockery of the Paralympics.”

The Games, set to begin tomorrow, have already been delayed by a year due to the pandemic, and will take place without spectators.

Amid a rise in coronavirus cases the chief of the organising committee has not ruled out a last-minute cancellation.

A surge in cases has now seen 67 people become affected ahead of the first events on Wednesday and the official opening ceremony on Friday.

Toshiro Muto said: “We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases.

“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”