Time to bring the Olympics to Africa, says Fredericks

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Windhoek – Namibia’s legendary four-time Olympic silver medalist Frank Fredericks strongly believes the time is ripe for the world to consider granting Africa the rights to host the 2024 Olympic Games, saying the continent has proven beyond doubt its capacity to host any major competition.

In a recent interview with the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) news crew, Fredericks said that with South Africa set to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban and also having successfully hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it’s evident that Africa has arrived and should be counted and considered as Europe or any other continent.

“Africa has already proven itself and obviously with South Africa hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, it will be another great opportunity for the continent to re-evaluate itself, but I’m confident Africa has the capacity to even host the 2024 Olympic Games, should they be granted such an opportunity,” said the former world champion.

Bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics officially started this year and the host of the games will be announced at the 130th International Olympic Committee IOC Session in Lima, Peru in September 2017

“Speaking of hosting, it’s just not South Africa, but we have countries like Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria to mention but a few, that have the capacity and facilities to host the world’s biggest games, but obviously depending on their financial positions then.”

Africa’s interest in wanting to host the Olympic Games is nothing new, as in 2012 Kenya declared their interest in hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics, while Morocco have also in the past confirmed that it would begin construction of an 80 000-seat stadium and will bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics, instead of 2024.

Fredericks is an IAAF council member and so far Namibia’s first and only Olympic medalist, having won four silver medals at the Olympic Games (two in 1992 and two in 1996). He still holds the record as the oldest man to have broken 20 seconds for the 200m, when he won the 200m race in a time of 19.99 seconds at the age of 34 years 283 days, in Rome, Italy in 2002.

by Otniel Hembapu

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