by John Kwoba
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The African Games
have lost their gloss and glamour with top Kenyan athletes
opting not to travel to Rabat, Morocco for this year’s
In Kenya, there has been no live feed or
broadcast of the Africa Games, which started on Aug. 19 and will
be ending on Saturday.
Generally, top continental media houses would be bidding
large amounts to secure the exclusive rights to broadcast the
None of that is happening through French sports channel
Canal+, which has no partner in East Africa, won the rights to
broadcast the African Games in Sub-Saharan Africa with
SuperSport retaining the rights of broadcasting the African
Games in South Africa while beIN Sports is broadcasting the
African Games in North Africa.
But a week after the games started, no television station in
Kenya is broadcasting the games, a confirmation of how the
competition, which is equated to a Mini-Olympics has lost its
This is unlike the football’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON),
which was followed religiously in Kenya and East African states.
Several elite runners including Africa 5,000m champion Edward
Zakayo, USA-based 800m athletes Emmanuel Korir, Michael Saruni,
Beatrice Chepkoech, world record holder in the women’s 3,000
meters steeplechase, and Hyvin Kiyeng, former world champion are
some of the stars missing from the Kenya team that left for
Rabat on Sunday.
Former World 800m champion Paul Ereng, who trains Saruni,
said his athlete is focused on the World Championships and will
pass the chance to compete at Africa Games.
"Every training and racing Saruni is doing now is geared
towards his preparations for the World Championships trials,"
Chepkoech, who finished fourth at the 2017 World
Championships and Rio Olympics, says she will only focus on
retaining her Diamond Trophy at the lucrative IAAF Diamond
League in Zurich on Thursday (Aug.29) and preparing for the
World Championships in Doha next month.
"Kenya has enough talent, young energetic athletes bubbling
with confidence, eager to showcase their talent," Chepkoech
"Let them carry the flag in Morocco."