It is hardly difficult to understand why interest distance running has waned to the point where the appearance of a top American runner on the cover of Sports Illustrated, once a reality, is now unthinkable. The complete dominance of the sport at all levels and disciplines by Africans, especially Kenyans, Ethiopians and Moroccans, has destroyed interest in Western countries.
Every single one of the 73 fastest 10,000 metre times by men have been recorded by Africans. For marathons, the number is 45 of the top 50. At the 2005 World Championships, 12 of the 15 finalists in the mens 5,000 metres were born in Africa. At the 2006 World Cross Country Championships, the first 16 finishers in the mens long race were born in Africa, as were the members of 10 of the 20 teams. Many European countries no longer enter international competitions due to European dominance. African runners win races in Europe, North America and elsewhere in anonymity, known to most as a single uniform entity: the Kenyans.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Competitive distance running - a dying sport?
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