For the second season running the African Combined Events Championships provide the starting point for the annual IAAF Combined Events Challenge. The championships are hosted by Mauritius, as they were in 2011, and take place over the weekend of 14 / 15 April, heading-up a season of 11 meetings which compose the Challenge in 2012.
The African Combined Events Championships sets the season rolling ahead of the five individual IAAF Permit meetings which are at the core of the Combined Events Challenge, and begin over the weekend of 5 / 6 June in Desenzano del Garda, Italy. Challenge points, which can also be accumulated at a number of Area competitions, the USA Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games, determine a final ranking and the share of over 200,000 USD in prize money when the season ends in Talence, France, on the weekend of 15/16 September.
Last year’s African Combined Events champions, Ali Kamé of Madagascar and the more heralded Margaret Simpson of Ghana return to compete again this weekend in Mauritius.
Kamé won the Decathlon in a national record of 7685 points ahead of local Guillaume Thierry whose 7444 for silver was a Mauritian record, and the two will duel again.
Simpson is a truly class act having been the IAAF World Championships bronze medallist in 2005 and a multiple winner of African Championships and African Games Heptathlon titles since 2002. Now 29-years-old and while only 14th in Daegu last summer, the Ghanaian is still a force to be reckoned with and won here last year with 6134 points and is the outstanding favourite this weekend.
Simpson’s nearest rival will be Tsoaeli Selloane of Lesotho, who was fourth last year with 5522 points.
Chris Turner for the IAAF