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Crosscountry World Championships: Africa dominates without question...

Africa dominated the 45th world cross-country championships held in Beograd on 30 March 2024. Croatia, was due to host the event but was finally replaced by Beograd on a decsion of World Athletics, because the preparations were not carried out properly. The events took place along the Danube in the Friendship Park. A splendid venue. When we talk about Africa, we are really talking about Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and, to a lesser extent, Morocco and South Africa. Of all the medals at stake, only one escaped the Africans, and that was in the mixed relay, where Great Britain & Northen Ireland managed the feat of taking a bronze medal from the Africans. In the junior women's 8km, it was the young unknown Ethiopian Marta Alemayo who won the race, four seconds ahead of her compatriot Asayech Ayichew and some ten seconds ahead of her other compatriot Robe Dida. Right from the start, the Ethiopians showed that they were there to win, and at no point did they let the Kenyan a chance to take the initiative. In the team ranking, Ethiopia naturally took the gold with 12 points, followed by Kenya 28 points and Uganda 48. It has to be said that the Africans did not leave the slightest doubt as to their intentions of finishing on the podium. The USA only managed 4th place here, 40 points behind Uganda. Two other African teams took part in this 8km event: South Africa 10th and Morocco 12th. In the junior boys' category, the top 15 finishers were all Africans, demonstrating Africa's dominance both certenly now and in the future. The young Africans showed great strength and fighting spirit in this race. At the finish, victory went to Kenya's Samuel Kibathi, followed by Ethiopia's Mezgebu Sime just four seconds behind and another Kenyan: Matthew Kiopkoech Kipruto third. In the team ranking, it comes as no surprise that Kenya is the gold medallist with 15 points, followed by Ethiopia with 21 points and Uganda with 52 points. Two other African teams were also present: South Africa in 5th place and Morocco in 6th. It was a fine revenge for Kenya over Ethiopia in the juniors. In the senior women's event, Kenya dominated the field, taking the top five places in the individual ranking. It was like a Kenyan championship. They gave their opponents no chance. The icing on the cake was Beatrice Chebet, now just 24, who won her second title in a row, having also been world champion last year. Before her, only Tirunesh Dibaba had done the same. Beatrice Chebet beat her compatriots Lilian Kasait Rengeruk and Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi. In the team ranking, first place naturally went to Kenya with just 10 points, followed by Ethiopia with 41 points, ahead of Uganda by just 3 points. (44 points). The USA came 4th, followed by the other African team present at this race, the South Africa squad, in 7th place. In the senior men's race, Jacob Kiplimo will put everyone in agreement. With his victory here in Beograd, repeating his feat of last year, he joins the very short list of athletes who have won the world cross championships more than once. His name now stands alongside those of Kenenisa Bekele, Geoffrey Kamworor, Paul Tergat and Khalid Skah. The top 19 finishers in this race were also African, with the exception of Spaniard Thierry Ndikumwenayo in 17th place... It should be noted that this Burundian champion has just become a naturalised Spaniard. The race was by no means easy. The athletes changed pace and tactics a lot to wear down their opponents, but in the end, logic prevailed. In the team ranking, Jacob Kiplimo's victory was not enough for his country to win gold, as Kenya once again became world champion scoring 19 points, followed by Uganda 31 points and Ethiopia team with 40 points. In fourth place we have Spain with 99 points. The other African teams present were Eritrea (6th), South Africa (8th) and Burundi (10th). Finally, in the mixed relay, Kenya once again gave its opponents no chance. The time set by the Kenyans left no doubt as to their superiority. Kenya won gold with a time of just 22 minutes and 15 seconds, followed by Ethiopia at 26 seconds in 22:43. The big surprise here was Great Britain & Northern Ireland, who took bronze in 23min 00, 8 seconds ahead of Morocco. Uganda will be 5th, France 6th, Japan 7th, USA 8th, RSA 9th, SER 10th, MEX 11th, KAZ 15th and FIJ 13th. Kenya topped the medal table with eleven medals at this edition of the World Cross Country Championships held in hot, sunny and dry conditions in Belgrade. This included six gold medals; the team titles in the senior men, senior women, U20 men and mixed relay races, and individual gold for Beatrice Chebet (senior women) and Samuel Kibathi (under 20 men). Other medals were won by Ethiopia 10 in total, Uganda won 5 and Great Britain won one single medal. Spain was the best European team in all individual races. On the flat nearly 2 km lap with obstacles, brigdes, mud and hay maze, African continent dominated. In total 439 runners competed from 45 countries a refugee team was there also. Finally, we can once again conclude that in athletics, Africa is a superpower and that in middle and long distance especially, no other continent is a match for it at the moment.

13th african games: exceptional results in athletics

The athletics competitions at the 13th All-Africa Games in Accra- Ghana left no one indifferent, of course because of the quality of the infrastructure and organisation, the exceptional enthusiasm of the public, but certainly because of the exceptional quality of the results obtained. A great number of specialists dwelt on the very positive results of these competitions, the number of records, the numerous best world performances and the density of these high level performances in more than one event. In the video linked here, Carole Fuchs, a leading specialist, is the guest of Anna Legnani, a lesser-known specialist who worked for the IAAF in the media field for many years. They both go into detail about these exceptional results and put them in perspective for the next Olympic Games. This was part of the podcast that Anna regularly hosts: Love Athletics. All that remains now is for this exceptional rise in African athletics, which has been the trend for nearly twenty years, with a marked acceleration over the last few years, to be confirmed at the next African Championships, scheduled for Douala in June, and of course to take shape at the Paris Olympics. Thank you Anna Thank you Carole The video link is here below.

13th All Africa Games, athletics ends in apotheosis

On the evening of 22nd March, the athletics events of the 13th edition of the All Africa Games came to an end in the same atmosphere and with the same enthusiasm of an overjoyed public, especially for the two victories of Ghana. A historic moment for Ghana and African athletics. 51 of the 54 member countries and no fewer than 625 athletes took part in this edition, which was characterized by the quality of the organization, the high level of the track and equipment and, of course, the excellent preparation of the athletes, who set numerous records of the Games, national records and many of the World Lead performances, including that of Zambia in the men's 4x400m, which brought the competitions to a climax in this Final day of athletics at All-African Games. Indeed, it saw Zambia clocking 2:59.12 a National and Games record with great anchor of Muzala Samokunga ahead of Botswana 2:59.32. On the women side Nigeria clocked 3:27.29 in the same event. There was also an interesting javelin improvement for Nigerian Nnadi Chinecherem to 82m80, a new national record over Kenyan star Julius Yego 81m74. The Algerian Yaser Triki , world indoor silver in triple jump, was beaten in long jump with 7m83 (+2.9) to South African new comer Mthembu Asande 7m86 (+1.5). Evans Yamooah from Ghana won men high jump 2m23, just 1 cm below national record. In the 5000m, World medalist Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwot confirmed his status in the event with 13:38.12, the same for his compatriot Hirut Meshesha in women 1500 m who clocked 4:05.71 a new Games record over Hawi Abera 4:06.09 and third was Kenyan Mary Ekiru 4:06.22. Kenya got gold in men 1500 m as Brian Komen won in 3:39.19 over Ermias Girma from Ethiopia with 3:39.40 and Abel Kipsang another Kenyan with 3:39.45. Sprints over 200 m were against strong wind, home win, to the great pleasure of the crowd, for Joseph Amoah 20.70 (-2.8) and for Gina Bass from Gambia 23.13 (-2.6) for her second gold in the Games. South African Rogail Joseph won women 400 m hurdles 55.39 in a Personal Best ahead of Moroccan Noura Ennadi 55.85. In the Half marathon gold medals goes to Eritrea with Samson Amare Hailemicael in 65:04 and in the women race the victory went to South Sudan Loliha Atalena in 74:36. At the end a total 27 countries are medal winners at this 13th All Africa Games athletics competitions, which is a little bit more than half number of participant countries (51). Nigeria won the medal ranking with 11 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals. Ethiopia finished second: 7-7-4. South Africa third: 7-1-3 Kenya 4th: 6-6-8 and Ghana 5th with 3 gold, 2 silver ans 1 bronze.

13th All Africa Games: Athletics, the show goes on for the 4th day

The party continued at the University of Accra stadium with an enthusiastic crowd and overjoyed athletes. The performances were once again outstanding. The cheers were a little lively when it came to the athletes from Ghana, but the public knew how to appreciate the performance and did not fail to encourage the athletes of other nationalities as well. In the afternoon of the third athletics days, the Nigerian Olympic and multiple World medallist Ese Brume won the high-quality but windy long jump at this 13th All-Africa Games leaping to 6m92 with a registered of +3.9. Marthe Koala of Burkina Faso finished second with 6m81 w (3.3), also 6m68 with a wind of only 2.0, ahead of other Nigerians Prestina Ochonogor 6m67w (3.2) and Ruth Osoro 6m62w (2.4) / 661 (1.9). Morocco’s young new comer Saad Hinti improved the national 400m hurdles record with 48.82 to win over Victor Ntweng of Botswana: 49.38. Kenya’s Janeth Chepngetich in a slow 33:37.00 certainly due to the high level of humidity and heat, defeated Wede Kefale of Ethiopia: 33:38.37 in the 10,000m final. Egypt’s Mostafa Elgamel won the gold in hammer with an excellent 73m65. Nigeria’s Obiageri Amaechi in the women’s discus droped the gold with 58.93. only 4 participants took part in the pole vault event won by Medhi Amar Rouana of Algeria in 5m30. Benin’s Odile Ahouanwanou in the heptathlon was first with 5616 points. Fresh triple jump World Indoor medalist Yasser Triki of Algeria leaped to 8m09 (W:1.6) in the long jump qualification. At the end of the session Zambia clocked 3:04.16 which is a New National record, being the fastest in the 4x400m heats.

All African Games: A third magnificent day of athletics

The stadium of the University of Accra in Ghana, which is hosting the athletics events, was the setting for a memorable evening of athletics at the All-African Games. The fantastic crowd, who spared no effort to encourage the athletes, and the perfect organisation by officials from the Ghana Athletics Federation, assisted by delegates from the Confederation of African Athletics, certainly played a decisive role in the success of this third day of athletics events. The weather was also kind, the heat dropped a little and the humidity level was more bearable. World record holders not only won their events but also achieved World leading marks. Beatrice Chepkoech in steeple chase with 9:15.61 established a new World List ahead of Olympic winner Peruth Chemutai from Uganda 9:16.07 and Ethiopian Lomi Muleta 9:26.63. Nigerian Tobi Amusan clocked also a World List in 100 m hurdles with 12.89 despite a -2.1wind and she also was part of winning Nigerian 4x100 m with 43.05. More World leads in 400 m by Mary Moraa 50.57 over Esther Joseph from Nigeria 51.61 and Sita Sibiri 51.74, a new National Record for Burkina Faso. Nigeria men 4x100 m team with a magnificient 38.41, a new World List beat Ghana 38.43 and Liberia 38.73. World Budapest champion and recently indoor champion Hugues Fabrice Zango won triple with 16.97 (+0.5). In women javelin Jo-Ane Van Dyk from South Africa was first with 60m80. Nigerian Chidi Okezie won the 400 m with strong finish in personal best 45.06 beating Muzala Samokunga from Zambia 45.37 and Senegal´s Cheikh Tidiane Diouf 45.49. Kenyans dominated the men 800 m final as Aron Cheminingwa won in 1:45.72 ahead of Alex Ngeno 1:45.73, bronze for Tumo Nkape from Botswana 1:46.04. Close finish in the 20 km walk, Ethiopian Misganaw Wakuma 1:28:05 beat Kenyan favorite Samuel Gathimba 1h28:06.

13th Accra African Games, Athletics at a top level ...

Under strict and competent supervision of the Confederation of African Athletics, which appointed a large team of technicians and top referees, the athletics competitions continued for the second day (19 march 2024) at the All-African Games in a crazy atmosphere with a packed stadium at the University of Accra. The atmosphere was truly extraordinary, which pushed the athletes to even higher levels of performance, auguring an exceptional African participation in the next Olympic Games, even though we are only at the beginning of the season. Fresh World Indoor champion Tsige Duguma of Ethiopia highlighted the second day of athletics competitions by winning the 800m in a world lead of 1:57.73. It is also her Personal Best. WL/PB. Uganda’s 2019 World champion Halimah Nakaayi finished second (1:58.59) and Vivian Chebet of Kenya third (2:00.27). Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme confirmed his domination in the first round and semi finale and topped the 100m in 10.14 (-0.8) ahead of Usheoritse Isekiri of Nigeria (10.23) and Namibia’s Gilbert Hainuca (10.29). As expected, Gina Bass of Gambia won the women’s sprint in 11.36 (-1.3). Nigeria’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the shot put with 21.06 over Egypt’s Mostafa Hassan (20.70). Nibret Melak of Ethiopia topped the 10,000m (29:45.37), Senegal’s Louis Francois Mendy the 110m hurdles in 13.61 (-1.1) ahead of Algeria’s Amine Bouanani 13.69. Rose Yeboah of Ghana won the women high jump with an excellent 190. South Africa’s Mirè Reinstorf topped the pole vault with a high-level performance of4m35 which is a new Games Record. Ruth Usoro comes from Nigeria to win the gold in the triple jump with with 13.80 (1.1). In this second day of competition, two titles went to Algeria by Zahra Tatar in the women’s hammer with 69m65 a new Games Record, and by Dhiae Boudoumi in the decathlon with 6943 points. Nigeria (Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ojeli, Patience George, Sikiru Adeyemi, Omolara Ogunmakinju) dominated the mixed 4x400m relay in an early world lead of 3:13.26 ahead of Botswana (3:13.99 NR) and Kenya (3:18.03). Nigeria sets here a new African record. Kenya’s 800m World champion Mary Moraa showed the fastest 400m semifinal time of 51.55. Muzala Samukonga of Zambia was the best man (45.51) and Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan topped the 100m hurdles heats in 13.03 (-1.8). To close the session we had fast men’s 4x100m times were achieved in heats by Ghana (38.67), Nigeria (38.70) and Liberia (38.86), Liberia’s women were also the fastest (43.73).

Athletics puts the 13th All African Games in orbit...

Athletics got off to a flying start at the 13th All-Africa Games, and the Games took on a whole new dimension as the level of athletics in Africa is so much higher than in other sports. There will certainly be plenty of Olympic medallists among the participants in Paris next summer. Despite the hot and humid weather in Accra at this time of year, the quality of the track and the perfect organisation of the competitions enabled promising performances to be achieved in almost all the events from the very first day of the qualifiers, with many Games records, continental records and even more national records. First day results: It start with an ethiopian win in the women 5.000m: U20 Medina Eisa won women 5000 m in 15:04.32 (third best ever time at Games) over teammates Birtukan Molla 15:05.32 PB and Melknat Wudu 15:07.04. Fourth best Kenyan steeple WR holder Beatrice Chepkoech 15:13.71. In men steeple Samuel Firewu also from Ethiopia won the gold with a time of 8:24.30 ahead of Kenyans Amos Serem 8:25.77 and Simon Kiprop 8:26.19. South African Victor Hogan dominated in discus with 62.56. From prelims to note fastest 100 m men semifinal 10.15 (-0.1) by Cameroon´s Emmanuel Eseme. In women 100 m semfinal Gina Bass from Gambia 11.35 (-0.8). 400 m first round had Cheikh Tidiane Diouf from Senegal as fastest with 45.64. Eritrean Fithawi Zaid clocked in 800 m prelims national record 1:45.90. Senegal´s Louis Francois Mendy topped 110 m hurdles first round with 13.54 (-1.2). In women 400 m heats fastest Esther Joseph from Nigeria 51.81 with World champion over 800 m Mary Moraa winning her heat 52.18. World Indoor champion Tsige Duguma was the fastest in women 800 m opening round 2:02.08.

Decoding Performance: The Brain of Professional Soccer Players and Stress

In a hypothetical narrative, considering two soccer players, each playing for a different team. Player A is part of a team with an average performance, having lost 18 games, tied 6, and won 4. Player B, on the other hand, plays for a team with a lower performance record, having lost 19 games, tied 8, and won just 1. Both players had to play 4 more games, and both teams need to win all four or risk being relegated to a lower level. The coaches of both teams have prepared overview and analysis slideshows for the players to study, enabling each player to grasp the tactics and individual performance of their opponents. These opponents exhibit high performance both tactically and physically. The characteristics of the three top teams are high speed, accurate indirect play, and individual techniques. Furthermore, the news certainly portrays these three teams as heroes that can conquer any challenge. The game statistics reveal that the three top teams have won 22 games, and the standings difference is only 1 point at the top of the list. Now, Players A and B must think, perhaps even overthink, about how to enhance their performance to counter these formidable opponents. Picture these two players in a different game location standing in line, waiting for the referee to lead them onto the pitch. In this moment, Players A and B, each in a different location and game, experience their body’s primal response, orchestrated by a fascinating interplay between three key brain regions: the amygdala, hypothalamus, and cortex. The amygdala acts like a fire alarm, but for challenges, not just threats. It constantly scans situations based on past experiences. When it detects a tough opponent, like a highly skilled soccer team, it triggers a response to prepare you for the challenge. It receives sensory information from the eyes, ears, and other senses. In response to detecting a high-pressure situation, like playing against the top three opponents, the amygdala triggers a rapid response based on past experiences. This initial response is quick and prioritizes preparing the player for action, without the deep analysis that the cortex can provide. Over time, the amygdala has established a rapid response system that plays a vital role in survival. This system helps players react instinctively in complex situations like facing top competitors. The amygdala then transmits the data to the hypothalamus, the brain's control center. Acting like a dispatcher, the hypothalamus mobilizes various bodily systems for action. It triggers a cascade of physiological changes, including increased heart rate, sweating, or heightened muscle tension, all designed to enhance performance in the face of a challenge. Additionally, the hypothalamus can also stimulate the release of hormones from other glands that can influence mental state, such as increased alertness and focus, further preparing the player for the high-pressure situation. A key hormone involved is adrenaline (epinephrine), released by the adrenal glands in response to signals from the hypothalamus. Adrenaline prepares the body for action by increasing heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. Beyond Adrenaline and Cortisol: The presence of adrenaline in the bloodstream triggers a cascade of hormonal responses: Cortisol: As mentioned earlier, adrenaline stimulates the hypothalamus to release cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol plays a vital role in managing stress by increasing blood sugar for energy, suppressing non-essential functions like digestion, and contributing to heightened alertness. Sex Hormones: In males, short-term stress might lead to a temporary increase in testosterone levels, providing a burst of energy mobilization. However, chronic stress can have the opposite effect, causing a decrease in testosterone levels. Females might experience changes in estrogen and progesterone levels as well, depending on the situation. Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH): This hormone, released from the pituitary gland in response to signals from the hypothalamus, helps conserve water by reducing urine production during stressful situations. Overall Impact: This complex interplay of hormones, initiated by the amygdala and orchestrated by the hypothalamus, prepares the player both physically and mentally to face the challenge. But here's where things get interesting. The amygdala's initial alarm might be loud, but it doesn't have the final say. The player's prefrontal cortex (PFC), the brain's reasoning center, steps in to analyze the information it receives from the amygdala. This analysis considers past experiences and memories, the context of the situation (such as assessing the opponent's potential to outperform them) and evaluates potential solutions to maintain composure and prevent self-esteem from taking a hit. Here's where individual differences become crucial. Player A, with their well-developed emotional intelligence, might interpret these thoughts and manage their behavior differently from Player B, who might struggle to express their true emotional state. Based on this analysis, the PFC can now interpret the information received from the amygdala, considering the player's knowledge and experience (intelligence can be a broad term). If the PFC judges the competition as manageable pressure, it can signal the hypothalamus to downregulate the fight-or-flight response, effectively calming the amygdala's initial alarm. This communication process can trigger self-talk that might translate into an affirmation like: Give it my all and avoid mistakes. However, if the cortex recognizes a high-pressure situation (such as facing one of the top three teams, known for their excellent performance and currently in top form), it may not be able to completely suppress the amygdala’s alarm response. This could lead to players experiencing intense pressure, resulting in a decrease in innovation and organization during the game. They might even feel an overwhelming need to surmount these challenges, which could further intensify their reactions. The good news is that this system is adaptable. By repeatedly encountering situations that were initially perceived as high-pressure but ultimately safe (like playing against opponents similar to the top three teams who they were able to defend against), the amygdala and cortex can learn and adapt. These experiences weaken the initial fear response, making players less likely to react impulsively in similar situations in the future. These experiences weaken the initial fear response, making players feel less random to react in similar situations in the future. This is why exposure therapy (training sessions) can be effective in managing high performance, especially at elite or professional levels. Simo Idrissi

Track and Field, the most representative sport on the African continent

4 months ago I published this article in French. Today, as I'm getting ready to leave for Accra for the All African Games, I thought it would be a good idea to republish it, this time in English. It's a reminder of the dynamism of African athletics and its place on the continent and the world stage. I am here using an old wording: instead of Athletics i used Track and Field as title...A kind of nostalgia of the old days. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX One of Africa's most dynamic sporting bodies is the Confederation of African Athletics. This dynamism is obviously the result of the fact that it manages the continent's most representative sport, but it also comes from its component parts, which are of course the national federations, of which the CAA is simply an offshoot. Its role is to encourage, channel and coordinate efforts to develop athletics on the continent. Athletics is the sport that has won, is winning and will continue to win the most titles and glories for the continent for a long time to come. To this end, the CAA, under the leadership of its President Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, has made great efforts to develop the sport. It has succeeded in setting up an initial ten-year strategic plan, the objectives of which have almost all been achieved: in particular, revitalizing the most precarious national federations and developing youth sport by introducing regional and continental competitions for U18s. This plan was aimed at popularization and more quantitative aspects: number of countries and athletes taking part in African competitions, number of African countries and athletes taking part in world competitions. The 2nd plan, launched in 2019, also covers a ten-year period and aims to consolidate and strengthen the gains made by moving a little closer to the quality of the activity as a whole, by reducing the disparities between members and regions. Aware of the importance of scientific aspects for the development of athletics, the CAA has based a large part of its strategy on collaboration with universities in each of its member countries: for the training of executives and for research and development in governance and management. If Africa accounts for more than 35% of world athletics, it is because it also has close relations with the world body, which is done in perfect harmony. There are, of course, points of disagreement that the two parties are trying to overcome to ensure perfect complementarity. World Athletics has delegated a number of prerogatives to the CAA, including development. This policy of decentralization is working rather well, to the satisfaction of both parties. The CAA's other major partner is ANOCA (Association of National Olympic and Sports Committees), with which we are in the process of establishing a close working relationship. ANOCA is the IOC's arm on the continent. This body, which has a major impact on sporting activity on the continent, particularly since it took over responsibility for the All-Africa Games, has entrusted the task of developing sport in Africa to M Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, President of the CAA. The athletics development model thus inspires all sports in Africa. A great deal of cooperation has also been undertaken with the African Union, which is linked to the CAA by a very important agreement with multiple objectives. Of course, the AAC will not succeed without collaboration with its members, their respective governments and the respective NOCs. Funding remains the major challenge. It is difficult to put forward figures as it is impossible to compile all the money spent or invested in athletics. We have the involvement of local authorities, governments and the NOCs, as well as what is certainly a very significant contribution from individuals and civil society through associations and clubs. If today athletics is practiced in all 54 African countries and all of them take part in continental competitions, it is because this is accompanied by substantial budgets. But more is still needed. Paradoxically, there are some countries, without naming them, that invest more than 10 million dollars a year in the running of their athletics federation and hundreds of millions in infrastructure. Others don't spend more than 20 or 30 thousand USD. This is understandable, given the GDP of some countries and the lack of interest shown by some governments in athletics, even though it is the most basic of sports. Funding is made difficult in many countries by the weakness of the economic fabric, characterized by monopolies, low levels of consumption and the stranglehold of certain multinationals, which make no effort to promote local development and are far from supporting the development of young people through sport. CAA has placed youth development at the heart of its strategy. It has made this its exclusive mission. It believes that the development of athletics on the continent must be centered on the athlete. Based on this philosophy, management training is a key lever. Young people need to be supervised by competent managers. As a result, it now has eight centers whose mission is to train managers as well as athletes. These are known as AADC: African Athletics Development Centers. And it's working so well that new centers are being planned. A center has just been launched in Abidjan in 2023 and another is about to be launched in Praia, Cape Verde, for Portuguese-speaking countries. This is how CAA, its partners and member federations are responding to the pressing need for development, by bringing its actions closer to the beneficiaries. The CAA has also signed agreements with federations in "wealthy" African countries to ensure that their infrastructures and know-how benefit the "less wealthy". In particular, it has signed an agreement with the Royal Moroccan Federation and with those of Ethiopia and South Africa. The CAA has also set up training units in more than one country. These are groups of talented youngsters who train under the guidance of qualified coaches appointed by the CAA. All financed by the CAA. The aim is to improve standards in the continent's least developed events and to help countries that are having difficulty setting up a good athlete training system. The CAA believes that African athletes should have the opportunity to compete on the continent, and has thus ensured the continuity of a competition system that Covid has unfortunately disrupted. In addition to the African championships in three age categories in cross-country and athletics, the CAA organizes an African Tour of one-day meetings in three categories Gold, Silver and Bronze, in addition to the Diamond League in Rabat, the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi and the Botswana Golden in Gaborone.

whey protein

Part 1 Whey protein has been widely used in untrained subjects [1] or in power trained athletes to increase muscle mass and to improve strength and physical performance [2-4]. However, there are relatively few studies examining the effects of whey protein supplementation on body composition and performance in well-trained endurance athletes [5, 6] and the results are sometimes conflicting. For example, Huang et al. [5] reported increased distance run in 12-min running test associated with an increase in whole body muscle mass, with no difference in performance in the placebo group; they also found decreases in “liver” enzymes, LDH, and creatine kinase (muscle damage markers) after 5-weeks of 33.5 g/day whey protein supplementation in endurance track runners. However, Roberson et al. [6] found increased lean mass, a tendency of mitochondrial capacity to be improved, but without significant improvement in physical performance after the ingestion of 25 g whey protein (post-exercise and pre-sleep) during 10 weeks in endurance runners. The inconsistent results of the effects of whey protein supplementation on endurance exercise performance and the associated post-exercise recovery parameters are in part related to some methodological differences such as the duration of supplementation, the amount, type, and timing of protein intake, and the training status of the subject. According to Phillips & van Loon [7], endurance athletes need more protein than the current recommendation of 0.8 g/kg/day for normal subjects, in order to achieve training adaptations and improve performance [7, 8]. The position statement of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) stated that protein supplementation may help to offset muscle damage during and following exercise and promote muscle recovery in athletes [9]. The rationale for the increased protein intake for endurance athletes is that their training volume is typically greater than for powerful athletes, i.e. about 6 days per week so as to attain adequate training distance per week. Further, endurance athletes often use a mixed training approach incorporating eccentric exercises, plyometrics and obstacle courses; these training regimens often induce muscle catabolism as well as resulting in muscle damage [10, 11]. Muscle protein catabolism during exercise is not desirable as the amino acids lost in this process are required to support post-exercise and training adaptations. Also, excessive muscle damage with associated inflammation and requirement for muscle repair slows muscle recovery and impairs subsequent performance [12].

The 19th edition of Athletics World Indoors in Glasgow presentation...

A few days before the World Indoor Athletics Championships, EME News, a specialized agency, presented the competition with the main protagonists athletes, event by event. Obviously the favorites are the athletes who dominated the winter season but obviously there will be surprise grabs like every edition. Having been present at numerous editions of these championships, myself, believe me it is well worth the detour. The championships are scheduled for March 1 and 2, 2024...two days of intense competition. Here is the full text as published by EME News. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The 19th edition of World Indoors will be for first time in Glasgow, but for third in the UK. Despite beeing it an Olympic Year several stars of the sport will participate (Lyles, Duplantis, Holloway, Bol, Warholm). It is the equaled earliest date in the history of the event, also 2018 Birmingham edition was held on March 1-4. In total 651 athletes (331 women and 320 men) are entered slightly less than in Belgrade 2022 (680, 372 men and 308 women). Now it is 133 countries, two years ago it was 137. Record numbers are 705 athletes at World Indoors 1997 in Paris (but without technical events direct finals) and 171 countries at World Indoors 2012 in Istanbul. In total 13 reigning individual world champions and seven individual gold medallists from the Tokyo Olympics are among the entries. From Belgrade 2022 title defenders only missing are two men Marcell Jacobs (60 m), Damian Warner (heptathlon), but also 6 women Mujinga Kambundji (60 m), Shaunae Miller-Uibo (400 m), Ajee Wilson (800 m), Ivana Vuleta (long jump), Yulimar Rojas (triple jump) and Auriol Dongmo (shot put). Gudaf Tsegay who won the 1500 m two years ago runs the 3000 m this time. Not invited as in Belgrade Russian and Belarus athletes, all technical events are held as finals. Evenings sessions on Saturday and Sunday are practically sold out. New Mondo track was installed, legendary David Rudisha is the ambassador. There’s good prize money, too, for places 1-6: $40 000-20 000-10 000-8000-6000-4000, plus a $50,000 bonus for a world record. Event by event short previews Men 60 m: Will Coleman´s fast start be enough to beat Lyles? Blake and Omanyala for bronze. 400 m: Two questionmarks, what is the shape of Warholm and Richards, both coming without any racing experience this winter. Then it is very open. 800 m: This year fastest Tecuceanu and Crestan. Hoppel has its experience, Masalela was winning on the circuit and Garcia is the defender. 1500 m: Nader is unbeaten this eason, Kessler comes with fast time, Nordas is World medalist. And Ethiopians. 3000 m: This is the highlight. Nuguse vs Kerr is the talk, but Barega and Wale have better times. 60mH: Holloway against the clock, 60 indoor wins in a row. Big fight for other medals (Cunningham, Joseph, French, Simonelli, Szymanski). HJ: Woo ruled during the season, Kerr comes from Down Under. PV: Mondo in his own World, can he produce again a global mark at championships? Obiena vs Nilsen and Kendricks for the remainder of the podium. LJ: Tentoglou by all books. Furlani ready for surprise. TJ: Zango should manage, then wide open. SP: Crouser question is how far. Fabbri, Walsh, Campbell for silver and bronze. Romani only one competition. Hep: Ehammer gave this priority over long jump, Skotheim the other contender, Mullings did not compete since end of January. 4x400 m: US always strong, but remember what happened in Belgrade. Belgium, Netherlands and Czech with current quality there. Women 60 m: Alfred vs Swoboda, top fight for gold. Hobbs and Dosso for bronze. 400 m: In case Femke and Lieke from the same coaching group will not be 1-2, we would say it was a surprise. 800 m: Alemu has the best time, but Reekie the spectators support. Or space for surprise name on top? 1500 m: This could be unique situation will full Ethiopian podium. 3000 m: Tsegay in her own class, Muir with crowd for silver, but Hull, St. Pierre, Meshesha not light opposition. 60mH: Charlton vs European force (Visser, Skrzyszowska). HJ: Mahuchikh vs Olyslagers, how high they can go? PV: Caudery, McCartney, Murto, Newman against US duo Moon and Morris. LJ: Davis looks like a clear choice, after her several contenders for two medals. TJ: 2 Cubans vs 2 US, and in between LaFond with Peleteiro. SP: Jackson vs Mitton for gold, is Schilder still in shape? Pen: Vicente should be the name, defender Vidts competed only individually this winter. 4x400 m: Netherlands followed by US followed by Jamaica or Poland or Britain. Czech dark horse. FLASH-BACK PORTLAND (USA): In the flash-back for Portland 2016 USA was the best country with 13-6-4 gold, silver and bronze medals ahead of Ethiopia 2-2-1, in total 29 countries got medals. In points also USA 249 ahead of Ethiopia 56 and Great Britain 39, here 53 countries got points. In total 10 world leads, 2 meet records and 7 area indoor records were registered, but no World Indoor record. From title defenders who competed only four defended (7 were not succesful). Paul Doyle was the agent with most individual gold medals from his athletes and total number of spectators was 39 283 for all sessions. BIRMINGHAM (GBR): In the Birmingham flash back to mention 32 countries won medals. Also 48 countries were in points rankings. There was 1 World indoor record in the men´s 4x400 m, 6 Area indoor records, 6 meet records and 14 World leads. Seven athletes sucesfully defended their titles from Portland. Six agents represented athletes with two individual gold medals. BELGRADE (SRB): Three World Indoor records highlighted the Serbian edition of the championships after 4 years break due to COVID (Duplantis, Rojas, Holloway). 612 athletes took part from 129 different countries. Average age of participants: 25 years. Average age of medallists and winners was 26 years. more than 20,000 spectators attended across the three days, despite a reduced stadium capacity due to Covid restrictions with Sunday 2nd session 6800 the highest. 72 national records. In medals Ethiopia was better than USA and Belgium, in total 31 countries won medals. In total 56 countries achieved top 8 position. Best agent was Juan Pineda with 3 individual gold medals. Light tower was used for the first time in technical events to show the validity of attempts. In competition performance rankings Belgrade is the best ever World Indoors with 49 348 (since 2000) ahead of Budapest 2004 with 48 839 and third Birmingham 2018 with 48 861. +++++++++++++++++++++ EME NEWS is prepared daily with help from Steven Mills, James Rhodes and Robert Blaho with results from Carles Baronet.

6th African Crosscountry Championships, Hammamet Tunisia 25th Feb 2024

Part 1 The 6th African Crosscountry Championships took place in Hammamet, Tunisia on Sunday February 25, 2024. Only 9 nations took part in these resumption championships after the interruption due to covid. If the number of participants was not significant, however, the quality was there with the participation of the great African and world cross-country nations. The golf course was simply extraordinarily beautiful. The number of natural obstacles and the variety of the course made this edition one of the best in African cross country if not the best one ever. Even the sometimes very strong wind could not prevent the athletes from giving their best, as demonstrated by the quality of the results. It must be said also, that the perfect organization of the Tunisian federation and the warm welcome, had a lot to do with this great success. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Individual results xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10 km Male BIP Name Nat. Time 1. 37 VINCENT KIBET Langat Kenya 00:28:31,28 2. 36 NAIBEI KIPLIMO Mayabei Kenya 00:28:40,27 3. 13 GEMECHU DIDA Diriba Éthiopie 00:28:57,23 4. 116 CHEBET Abel Ouganda 00:29:01,81 5. 41 VINCENT Kimaiyo Kenya 00:29:04,10 6. 15 ADISU NEGASH Wake Éthiopie 00:29:12,34 7. 40 BRIAN KIPTOO Bushendich Kenya 00:29:14,23 8. 12 DINKALEM AYELE Adane Éthiopie 00:29:15,07 9. 38 FREDRICK YEKO Domongole Kenya 00:29:15,31 10. 16 ENYEW NIGAT Tamen Éthiopie 00:29:30,25 11. 121 KIPROTICH Levi Ouganda 00:29:33,88 12. 118 MUTAI Ezekiel Ouganda 00:29:47,20 13. 39 ROBERT KIPROP Koech Kenya 00:30:02,17 14. 79 TORISS Hassan Maroc 00:30:03,19 15. 101 JHINAOUI Mohamed Amine Tunisie 00:30:09,64 16. 4 BENKERDAGH Youcef Algérie 00:30:10,08 17. 17 NYAKOLA Gela Teresa Éthiopie 00:30:28,94 18. 77 AKKAOUI Mustapha Maroc 00:30:32,35 19. 119 CHEPTOEK Elijah Ouganda 00:30:40,12 20. 78 OUTADHA Hicham Maroc 00:30:46,54 21. 76 OUTALHA Mohcine Maroc 00:30:47,42 22. 2 EL HANNACHI Nabil Algérie 00:30:54,00 23. 6 BOUCHICHA Hichem Algérie 00:31:01,00 24. 5 ADOUCHE Youcef Algérie 00:31:03,39 25. 3 GUERINE Ali Algérie 00:31:05,75 26. 81 DARDAR Ayoub Maroc 00:31:17,05 27. 1 OUARGHI Ramdane Algérie 00:31:46,00 28. 102 JRIDI Mohamed Ibrahim Tunisie 00:31:46,79 29. 80 EL ALLAMI Yassine Maroc 00:31:52,18 30. 10 FORTES Silva Artur Jorge Cap-Vert 00:32:38,69 31. 105 ASSADI Makrem Tunisie 00:32:46,16 32. 103 SLIMENI Oussama Tunisie 00:33:20,45 33. 104 SOUISSI Nassim Tunisie 00:34:05,97 34. 100 MAGNAN YANICK Jean-François Seychelles 00:36:08,64 DNF 120 KIPLANGAT Alex Ouganda DNF 127 ABREHA Moges Tuemay Éthiopie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10 km wemen 1. 45 CHEPNGENO Cintia Kenya 00:32:31,04 2. 48 NYAMBURA Virginia Kenya 00:32:33,45 3. 19 AZIMERAW Asires Degitu Éthiopie 00:33:03,95 4. 49 MONGARE Gladys Kwamboka Kenya 00:33:10,18 5. 20 DESSIE Genaneh Anchinalu Éthiopie 00:33:25,87 6. 50 CHEBET Caren Kenya 00:33:39,84 7. 46 BEGI BEATRICE Nyaboga Kenya 00:33:50,52 8. 18 ABRAHA Tsige Haileslase Éthiopie 00:34:06,02 9. 21 SEWAGEGN Gelaw Yalga Éthiopie 00:34:06,21 10. 47 TUEI SANGRAFELIS Chebet Kenya 00:34:17,58 11. 128 AZALE Fantaye Belayneh Éthiopie 00:35:08,01 12. 22 DEMILEW ZEMENAY Ayana Éthiopie 00:35:08,89 13. 84 BOUAGGAD Hanane Maroc 00:35:41,14 14. 82 QALLOUJ Hanane Maroc 00:35:58,78 15. 7 BENDEBRAL Malika Algérie 00:36:10,17 16. 86 KAHHAZ Kaoutar Maroc 00:36:28,76 17. 87 AAFIR Fatima Maroc 00:36:37,80 18. 85 ZAHI Hasnae Maroc 00:37:03,40 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 8km U20 boys 1. 61 KIPNGETICH Gideon Kenya 00:23:16,34 2. 65 RUTO Joash Kiprotich Kenya 00:23:17,31 3. 60 KIPROTICH Titus Kenya 00:23:18,02 4. 63 MAYWA Simon Kenya 00:23:21,96 5. 35 HAGOS EYOBE Gared Éthiopie 00:23:24,85 6. 62 NGETICH Clinton Kimutai Kenya 00:23:29,78 7. 33 ABDISA FAYISA Gutama Éthiopie 00:23:35,98 8. 32 SEMACHW SEWNET Worku Éthiopie 00:23:46,85 9. 30 SEYOUM BEHARU Regasa Éthiopie 00:24:03,43 10. 34 NIBRET KINDE Mogese Éthiopie 00:24:07,49 11. 64 WANJIRU Joseph Njoroge Kenya 00:24:23,62 12. 93 ERRADOUANI Oussama Maroc 00:24:24,53 13. 31 NEGASA DEKEBA Bikela Éthiopie 00:24:25,49 14. 95 AAOURDOU Ilyas Maroc 00:24:30,05 15. 97 EL MOBARAKY Mohamed Maroc 00:25:18,51 16. 96 AACHOUR Abdelwahed Maroc 00:25:29,73 17. 98 FARIS Ahmed Maroc 00:25:34,78 18. 94 ZOUHAIR Redouane Maroc 00:26:04,02 19. 114 MEJRI Rayene Tunisie 00:26:43,81 20. 112 HIZAOUI Hamza Tunisie 00:27:53,68 21. 111 KHASKHOUSSI Iheb Tunisie 00:28:09,30 22. 122 BEN SALAH Muad Libye 00:29:42,87 23. 123 ABOURAS Asil Amer Mabrouk Libye 00:29:55,78 24. 124 HIBU Abdoussalam Libye 00:31:12,70 25. 99 URANIETIPHANO Paul Seychelles 00:32:01,78 26. 129 MOHAMED RADDOU Mustapha Libye 00:32:42,61 27. 125 BALOUMI Mohamed Libye 00:32:46,08 28. 126 ELGOMATI Omar Libye 00:36:10,17 DNF 113 SETOUTI Mustapha Tunisie 00:21:26,65 DNF 115 DOUZI Omar Tunisie 00:20:35,23 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 6km U20 girls 1. 24 DIRIBA ROBE Dida Éthiopie 00:20:59,33 2. 26 ADEMAS YENENESH Shimket Éthiopie 00:21:00,18 3. 28 DAGNAW TINEBEB Asres Éthiopie 00:21:00,56 4. 27 YADETI MEKEDES Alemeshete Éthiopie 00:21:02,16 5. 25 OLEKABA KOKBE Abera Éthiopie 00:21:03,05 6. 56 CHEPKOECH Judy Kenya 00:21:03,68 7. 54 JEPNGETICH Marion Kenya 00:21:05,03 8. 29 ALMAZ YOHANNIS Bude Éthiopie 00:21:07,47 9. 57 WAMBUI Lucy Nduta Kenya 00:21:09,09 10. 58 CHEPKEMOI Sharon Kenya 00:21:11,62 11. 53 CHEPKIRUI Cynthia Kenya 00:21:19,90 12. 55 KEMUNTO Judy Kenya 00:21:58,53 13. 90 IBN ABDEL MATEY Housna Maroc 00:22:04,35 14. 92 EL BOUZI Saida Maroc 00:22:23,40 15. 88 BALI Khadouj Maroc 00:22:23,98 16. 91 IBN ABDEL MATEY Hassana Maroc 00:22:28,69 17. 89 GHIZLANE Hiba Maroc 00:22:54,29

6th African Crosscountry Championships, Hammamet Tunisia 25th Feb 2024

Part 2 Team and mixed relay results Bip Name Nat. Time Points 10 km men 1. Kenya 15 1. 37 VINCENT KIBET Langat KEN 00:28:31,28 1 2. 36 NAIBEI KIPLIMO Mayabei KEN 00:28:40,27 2 5. 41 VINCENT Kimaiyo KEN 00:29:04,10 5 7. 40 BRIAN KIPTOO Bushendich KEN 00:29:14,23 7 2. Ethiopia 27 3. 13 GEMECHU DIDA Diriba ETH 00:28:57,23 3 6. 15 ADISU NEGASH Wake ETH 00:29:12,34 6 8. 12 DINKALEM AYELE Adane ETH 00:29:15,07 8 10. 16 ENYEW NIGAT Tamen ETH 00:29:30,25 10 3. Uganda 46 4. 116 CHEBET Abel UGA 00:29:01,81 4 11. 121 KIPROTICH Levi UGA 00:29:33,88 11 12. 118 MUTAI Ezekiel UGA 00:29:47,20 12 19. 119 CHEPTOEK Elijah UGA 00:30:40,12 19 4. Morocco 73 14. 79 TORISS Hassan MAR 00:30:03,19 14 18. 77 AKKAOUI Mustapha MAR 00:30:32,35 18 20. 78 OUTADHA Hicham MAR 00:30:46,54 20 21. 76 OUTALHA Mohcine MAR 00:30:47,42 21 5. Algeria 85 16. 4 BENKERDAGH Youcef ALG 00:30:10,08 16 22. 2 EL HANNACHI Nabil ALG 00:30:54,00 22 23. 6 BOUCHICHA Hichem ALG 00:31:01,00 23 24. 5 ADOUCHE Youcef ALG 00:31:03,39 24 6. Tunisia 111 15. 101 JHINAOUI Mohamed Amine TUN 00:30:09,64 15 31. 105 ASSADI Makrem TUN 00:32:46,16 31 32. 103 SLIMENI Oussama TUN 00:33:20,45 32 33. 104 SOUISSI Nassim TUN 00:34:05,97 33 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10km wemen 1. Kenya 13 1. 45 CHEPNGENO Cintia KEN 00:32:31,04 1 2. 48 NYAMBURA Virginia KEN 00:32:33,45 2 4. 49 MONGARE Gladys Kwamboka KEN 00:33:10,18 4 6. 50 CHEBET Caren KEN 00:33:39,84 6 2. Ethiopia 28 3. 19 AZIMERAW Asires Degitu ETH 00:33:03,95 3 5. 20 DESSIE Genaneh Anchinalu ETH 00:33:25,87 5 9. 21 SEWAGEGN Gelaw Yalga ETH 00:34:06,21 9 11. 128 AZALE Fantaye Belayneh ETH 00:35:08,01 11 3. Morocco 60 13. 84 BOUAGGAD Hanane MAR 00:35:41,14 13 14. 82 QALLOUJ Hanane MAR 00:35:58,78 14 16. 86 KAHHAZ Kaoutar MAR 00:36:28,76 16 17. 87 AAFIR Fatima MAR 00:36:37,80 17 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 8km U20 Male 1. Kenya 10 1. 61 KIPNGETICH Gideon KEN 00:23:16,34 1 2. 65 RUTO Joash Kiprotich KEN 00:23:17,31 2 3. 60 KIPROTICH Titus KEN 00:23:18,02 3 4. 63 MAYWA Simon KEN 00:23:21,96 4 2. Ethiopia 29 5. 35 HAGOS EYOBE Gared ETH 00:23:24,85 5 7. 33 ABDISA FAYISA Gutama ETH 00:23:35,98 7 8. 32 SEMACHW SEWNET Worku ETH 00:23:46,85 8 9. 30 SEYOUM BEHARU Regasa ETH 00:24:03,43 9 3. Morocco 57 12. 93 ERRADOUANI Oussama MAR 00:24:24,53 12 14. 95 AAOURDOU Ilyas MAR 00:24:30,05 14 15. 97 EL MOBARAKY Mohamed MAR 00:25:18,51 15 16. 96 AACHOUR Abdelwahed MAR 00:25:29,73 16 4. Libye 95 22. 122 BEN SALAH Muad LBA 00:29:42,87 22 23. 123 ABOURAS Asil Amer Mabrouk LBA 00:29:55,78 23 24. 124 HIBU Abdoussalam LBA 00:31:12,70 24 26. 129 MOHAMED RADDOU Mustapha LBA 00:32:42,61 26 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 6km U20 girls 1. Ethiopia 10 1. 24 DIRIBA ROBE Dida ETH 00:20:59,33 1 2. 26 ADEMAS YENENESH Shimket ETH 00:21:00,18 2 3. 28 DAGNAW TINEBEB Asres ETH 00:21:00,56 3 4. 27 YADETI MEKEDES Alemeshete ETH 00:21:02,16 4 2. Kenya 32 6. 56 CHEPKOECH Judy KEN 00:21:03,68 6 7. 54 JEPNGETICH Marion KEN 00:21:05,03 7 9. 57 WAMBUI Lucy Nduta KEN 00:21:09,09 9 10. 58 CHEPKEMOI Sharon KEN 00:21:11,62 10 3. Morocco 58 13. 90 IBN ABDEL MATEY Housna MAR 00:22:04,35 13 14. 92 EL BOUZI Saida MAR 00:22:23,40 14 15. 88 BALI Khadouj MAR 00:22:23,98 15 16. 91 IBN ABDEL MATEY Hassana MAR 00:22:28,69 16 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mixed relay Rang Nom Prénom Nat. Temps Relais Mixte 1. EDWIN KIPRONO , NSIZA WINFRED Mutai Victor, Miriam Cherip Kenya 00:23:29,13 2. URGESA TEDDESE LEMI, SHANQO BURGUDA ADUNA Embye Adehena Kasaye, Danbobi Dahdi Dube Éthiopie 00:23:46,41 3. RIZQY HAFID, IKRAM OUAZIZ Tindoufl Mohamed, Farkoussi Kawtar Maroc 00:23:49,57 4. RIADH CHENINI, RIHAB DHARI Abdessalem Ayouni, Marwa Bouzayani Tunisie 00:24:55,05

Reshaping Sport with Extended Reality in an Era of Metaverse: Insights from XR the Moroccan Association Experts

Extended reality (XR) is becoming a growing technology used by athletes, trainers, and other sports professionals. Despite the rapid growth of XR, its application in sports remains largely unexplored. This study is designed to identify and prioritize factors affecting the implementation of XR in Moroccan sports science institutes. To achieve this, the study employs the A’WOT methodology, a hybrid multi-criteria decision method combining the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) technique with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Through expert group discussions, the study identifies and categorizes the factors affecting XR implementation into SWOT groups. Subsequently, the AHP methodology is employed to determine the relative importance of each factor by conducting interviews with a panel of sports and XR experts. The study’s findings, obtained through the A’WOT methodology, establish a ranking of the fundamental factors for successful XR implementation in Moroccan sports science institutes. The findings suggested that a strategic approach for implementing XR technology in Morocco needs to be driven principally by a combined approach based on the SWOT opportunities and strengths groups. The present study investigates the benefits, challenges and opportunities of XR technology in Moroccan sports science institutes based on the SWOT-AHP framework. The strengths and opportunities ratings based on XR The Moroccan Association perspectives are positively inter-preferred for XR technology. Thus, based on this research, the framework provided can be interpreted as a roadmap for supporting the development of the strategic implementation of XR technology in Moroccan sport science institutes, while providing more credible information for decision-makers in the overall process. An in-depth analysis of the findings enables us to conclude that the strategic implementation of XR technology in Moroccan sports science institutes has to be driven principally by the opportunities factors that could assist in overcoming the identified main weaknesses and threats, along with maximizing the strengths. Following these guidelines, decision-makers are expected to initiate a range of activities in order to establish the right external environment in which opportunities can be fully exploited to tackle the principal weaknesses and threats revealed by the analysis. This research provides strong evidence for XR deployment in the sense that it reflects the views of XR The Moroccan Association practitioners and researchers on XR technology.

Sports performance, Africa has only one choice...

The extraordinary experience of Nezha Bidouane, Hicham El Guerrouj, Khalid Skah, Brahim Boutayeb, Nawal El Moutawakel, Salah Hissou, Hasna Benhassi, Zahra Ouaziz, Said Aouita, Jawad Gharib, Ali Ezzine and so many others has made Morocco a super power of world athletics. At that time, Morocco was among the notable countries in world athletics with dazzling results and a continuity of almost a quarter of a century. Morocco was even fifth in the world in 1999, during the world championships in Seville. Very high-level performances, charismatic athletes, Moroccan coaches trained properly in Morocco, an inspired federal policy, unconditional support from the State, generous royal concern have made this Morocco great for athletics. At the world level, for the training of high-level athletes, there are two successful and time-honoured experiences, two ways of training and producing performance and a third which is gaining a good place, which is even becoming the more productive, the one invented and implemented in Morocco. This Moroccan method has been emulated. It was adopted by the IAAF at the time, by the African Confederation and also by more than one country. Roughly speaking, you have the American system with large, very rich universities having all the means to train very high-level athletes. American universities are developing scientific research in sports performance, investing in large laboratories in exercise physiology, psychology and other cognitive sciences, sports sociology and all other areas of physical activity for well-being and the production of sports performance. They invest in sporting performance to improve and consolidate their respective image, in a major inter-university competition. They are therefore the most productive in the world, benefiting from developed knowledge, an unrivaled level of supervision and an inspiring historical record. They are a super power and provide the USA with all-round sporting power. So the USA has always been one step ahead of the rest of the world. Alongside the American system there is the European system with large clubs supported by very rich local authorities and very generous sponsors. This system therefore produces the second largest sporting power in the world and this is seen at the various world championships and the Olympic Games every four years. In Africa we have neither of these systems, nor could we have one in the near future. So, in Morocco, we invented our own path which is to design and set up a national institution which brings together very talented young people selected from a good prospecting and talent detection system. The selected ones are then placed in an environment of high competence, optimized performance, under the leadership of 100% Moroccan executives. Having an exclusively national framework is of great importance on a cultural, sociological and emotional level. We must never forget that sporting performance is a cultural expression. Everyone's motivation is the same: to represent the country with dignity. This is what allowed us for more than 20 years to be among the ten greatest nations in the world, to have dozens of titles and world records. I think this is the path for African countries. In Kenya too, almost all athletes come from a similar system initiated by certain equipment manufacturers and by the IAAF in the past. Ethiopia has adopted the same path. This is also the path that the CAA is currently developing by multiplying the African Athletics Development Centers -AADC-. These are executive training and training units for young athletes. Unfortunately the system is threatened by lack of resources, World Athletics having chosen not to follow the CAA in this voice. Such a system can only work on the basis of an intelligently thought out and effectively carried out detection system. Why don't we see new generations of great Moroccan athletes, would be the question that more than one would ask me? Sports performance, if it depends on the will of leaders and a favorable environment, it depends above all and above all on the men who work in the system, on their commitment and their genius. Structures and funding are not sufficient to generate high performance. We are here in a cultural domain of permanent creativity, based on a vision which combines will with cultural aspects but without neglecting the consideration of scientific advances at the highest level. The foresight of decision-makers, the level of confidence in management, the continuity of the system are all factors which will impact the process of producing sporting performance. As soon as one of these factors is disturbed, the machine jams. We must therefore conclude that to produce sporting performance, the continent has only one choice: that of training centers. This is what football does brilliantly in certain African countries including Morocco. Aziz Daouda

Africa, the share of sport in the economy

It is difficult to assess the true share of sport in GDP across the African continent, as it is clear that this share varies greatly from one country to another. In Morocco, for example, this share is estimated at 1%. The study of market shares in the sports business also shows that Africa only picks up crumbs. Africa is barely present in global statistics. The continent is undergoing globalization but benefits very little from it. Africa only plays the role of talent reserve; a kind of nursery. The weakness of Africa's weight in the world economy is glaring here. The continent benefits little from the financial windfall from sport, just as it benefits little from the fair value of the wealth it “generously” offers to the world economy. The very nature of sporting activity generates this anachronistic situation. Sport in America or Europe and increasingly in Asia as well, lives in part thanks to the talents that only Africa can provide on a genetic and phenotypic level. Many sports, particularly the most popular and economically promising, require particular qualities and human potential that fit perfectly with the type of young people Africa abounds with. It is almost the only continent to offer this particularity. There is also the informal economy which has established itself as a saving palliative for young people since it allows them to benefit from cheap sports equipment. Even counterfeit or second-hand, this particularly individual equipment still allows a certain practice at a certain level. This informal activity, if encouraged and guided, can constitute the basis of a local sports economy and move into the formal sector. Aziz Daouda