The Cameroonian Athletics will live a historic moment Sunday, October 29, 2017. The country of Françoise Mbango Etone, world icon of athletics of Cameroonian origin, will relive the atmosphere of a full-scale international marathon, nearly 30 years later the last event of its kind organized in Douala. It is still in this city that another page of history will be written. For what may be akin to a first, the affluence is rather considerable. The organizers talk about more than 3000 athletes already registered. Foreign delegations are already sweeping the economic capital. Among them, the super favorite Kenyans feared by most Cameroonian competitors. Africa Top Sports takes stock of the preparations.
The preparation of the international city sport-Asics marathon of Douala scheduled for October 29, 2017 continues actively in the economic capital of Cameroon. The organizing committee announces an exceptional participation. It already has 3150 athletes registered. Which, according to the journalist David Eyengue also involved in the organization, is a feat. “3000 athletes is an extraordinary performance because even Boston, the oldest marathon in the world and one of the most famous has had at most 1000 athletes in its first edition,” he argues.
On the ground, the forty foreign delegations arrive in waves since 25 October 2017. The 9 athletes from Kenya, among the most anticipated competitors are already in Cameroon. It is said here that they are very feared by other competitors. 13 countries will be represented in this race which marks the great return of the marathon in Cameroon. There are athletes from African countries (Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Benin, Ghana, Gabon) from Europe (Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain), Asia (South Korea) and representatives of Australia.
2 million CFA Francs for the winner
During the press conference she held on October 24, 2017, the general manager of Tara Sports and Events, the company that organizes the marathon, made a point of reassuring the public. “We worked hard to make sure everything went well on Sunday,” said Eliane Nana. For the event that will run on 42, 195 kilometers – nothing to do with the 10 kilometers or half marathon often organized and wrongly presented as marathon races – 4 ambulances were requisitioned. Letters are sent since Thursday, October 26, 2017 to the services in charge of public security. The Urban Community of Douala is responsible for filling the potholes on the course. The distribution of bibs is already done. Competitors are asked to remove them in the shops of the partner City Sport.
Her sales manager, Joyce Gwet, explains that her structure will witness something new. “In the past, we did not experience this kind of event here. It will be an experience for us. ” It is a little promo of its structure stating that it has insisted that those who participate in the marathon take technical advice from sellers. The recommended products are those of the Asics brand that City sport distributes in Cameroon. Asics, the number 1 in the world in terms of running equipment.
The organizing committee has conditioned the participation of athletes in the presentation of a medical certificate that applicants must submit when removing their bibs. “I invite the participants to more responsibilities”, exhorts Eliane Nana, anxious to see Cameroon successfully return to the international marathon.
The kick-off of the event will be given on the new bridge that connects two parts of the city of Douala from 7 am. The organizers obtained the exceptional authorization of the Cameroonian ministry of public works in charge of the supervision of the big building sites underway on the Wouri. The rewards table includes cash rewards. The winner of the race will receive 2 million CFA Francs. The second will have 1 million 500 thousand CFA francs. The 3rd will be awarded 700 000. The amount of the reward provided for the occupants of the 4th to the 10th place is 20 000 Francs. 10,000 CFA francs are reserved for those who have held positions ranging from 11th to 250th place. Those who will have actually crossed the finish line.
It is not certain that the same rewards are the same as those provided for the competitors of the other event organized on the sidelines of the marathon. This is the “family walk”. It will take place over 3 kilometers in a loop circuit. 150 families were selected to compete. The organizing committee had to reject other applications. For the sake of perfection. “We had to stop the recordings because the solicitations were nombreuses. The family walk is something new. We want it to be really family friendly and as it’s a first edition, everyone wants to come see. Next year We will be organized enough to welcome more people “, promises the vice-president of the Ange Sama organizing committee.The family on promotionThe departure of the family walk is fixed at City Sport, in the first district of the city of Douala. It is also there that the transmission and the arrival will be done. Each competing family consists of two adults and one child between 10 and 15 years old! Through this race, the organizers intend to promote the family. “The important thing for us is family relaxation, the promotion of the family and the symbol of the transmission of family values. You will see that at the beginning, it is the father who will open the march since in general it is said that it is the head of the family who is in front, then as we put the children, the child must learn from Father. In closing, it is the mother who comes because when we are at home, it is the woman who has to close, close everything “, declares Ange Sama. It is certain that a success of the international marathon City sport-Asics Douala will increase the rating of Tara sports and events, which has already distinguished itself in the organization of other sports competitions. For example, the tennis tournaments Eliane Nana has organized since 2015, which, in addition to being successful, are supported by Yannick Noah. “Tara sports no longer sets limits. Trying to participate in the promotion of sport in Cameroon is our goal. There is a whole economy of sport. We can not speak of limits “, supports a very ambitious Eliane Nana. We first meet the fingers for Sunday.