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Peaceful protest

The Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) informed athletes late in the process that the number of competitors would be reduced by half at the 2024 Ghana African Games. So, they protested by sitting on the track.

Thirty athletes, 16 men and 14 women as well as five officials were expected to go to the Games, but the KNSC reduced the number with one week’s notice.

They were to permit only one athlete per discipline for the Games at the trials on Tuesday.

One of the athletes to protest and demand answers was 800-metre world champion Mary Moraa.

A displeased Moraa led athletes to the boycott during the national trials at the Nyayo National Stadium.

A lack of funds was the reason for the reduction in numbers. Moraa said that “many upcoming athletes want to get a chance to compete on the global stage.”

“Denying them such chances is unjust.”

Government bows to pressure from protest

The government bowed to pressure. They increased the number of athletes to compete following the protest over the limiting of opportunities on Tuesday.

The representatives said the athletes had been “undermined.” Especially after months of training when athletics is what brings in the most medals.

With athletics contributing 20 of the 31 medals at the 2019 Moroccan African Games, the athletes would not accept the changes. They insisted on the usual process of selecting three athletes per discipline, as long as they met the qualifying marks.

Athletics Kenya in consultation with the government yielded. They promised to increase the slots although it is still not known how many more have been added.

The meet will take place starting March 8 and will end on March 23.

Three cities will host the 13th African Games, making it only the second decentralized Games in history. The three cities are Kumasi, Accra, and Cape Coast.