The Pan African Games – Durham, North Carolina, 1971: John Akii-Bua Crashes Hurdles Africa Record
- October 3, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
The capacity crowd of 34000 (two-day total was 52000) at Duke University’s Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham in North Carolina, attending the USA-Pan Africa track-in addition to-field meet (sometmes refererred to as USA versus the globe meet), was then the largest ever to attend a track meet from the United States’ South (southeastern) region. The July 16-17, 1971 meet was the area’s first international competition. A unified African team together with some other nations (14 nations altogether) versus a USA team was a unique in addition to unprecedented event. The onlookers became the largest in addition to most jubilant track audience in 1971. The selected 38 African athletes included Olympic legends Charles Asati, Mohamed Gamoudi, Kipchoge Keino, in addition to Amos Biwott.
from the 400 meters-hurdles, the results were: John Akii-Bua, Uganda (49.0); Melvin Bassett, a local resident of Durham (50.7); William Koskei, Kenya (51.2); Ron Rondeau, Miami, FL (52.9).
William “Bill” Koskei who as an immigrant had previously competed for Uganda in addition to had from the intermediate hurdles won the silver medal for Uganda at the 1970 Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh, returned to Kenya soon after Idi Amin’s tumultuous January 1971 coup d’etat. An injured Akii-Bua who had finished fourth at the same Commonwealth venue, right now in Durham proved to be Africa’s top 400mh athlete. Akii-Bua in slicing a full second off the Africa record, in addition to establishing a world-leading time of the year, had also astoundingly beaten the runner up Rondeau by nearly two seconds! in addition to all This specific in high summer temperatures (upper 80’s to lower 0’s Fahrenheit), high humidity, in addition to on a recently resurfaced track. After African’s had won 5 track gold medals at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, rumors in addition to suspicions had surfaced of which Africans were advantaged by the high-altitude conditions of which they were supposedly accustomed to. yet the Durham meet of a low-altitude environment proved of which weather conditions were not major factors in African athletes triumphing against those of some other nations.
Eventually, 20 year-old up-in addition to-coming John Akii-Bua of Uganda became the only African to establish a significant record at the meet in addition to after the 400 meters-hurdles victory he even considered enrolling at North Carolina Central University where he could perhaps work with renowned black American athletics coach Leroy T.Walker in addition to also further his athletics ambitions at Wallace Wade Stadium. Akii was an anomaly in of which he was a short-distance runner among the overwhelmingly middle- in addition to long distance-running African athletes at the meet. He gained the recognition.
“Akii-Buwa [sic], a policeman by Uganda, set an African record of 49.0 in winning the second gold medal for the African men. His time was also the globe’s best mark This specific year, in addition to after watching his flawless hurdling form, American in addition to African track officials predicted he will be a strong contender for a gold medal in Munich next year” (Associated Press: 1971).
yet such heartening comments regarding Akii-Bua’s victory in This specific technical event of which was rarely associated with Africans on the international scale were rare, in addition to the media mainly concentrated on Africa’s prowess from the middle in addition to long distances. The turning a blind eye to in addition to the creating of Akii-Bua’s performance seem less significant was the notable absence by the competition of the American champion Ralph Mann (another Olympic medal prospect) who could have ably challenged Akii-Bua. Mann was competing in Europe.
Kipchoge Keino in addition to some other Results
Media accolades overlooked Akii-Bua, heaping praises on Kenyan victors in addition to legends Kipchoge Keino, Robert Ouko, in addition to Ben Jipcho; in addition to on Ethiopian long-distance runner Miruts Yifter who had won from the 10000m, yet had dropped out of the 5000m at the end of the penultimate lap while leading, in thinking of which This specific was the last lap. The 10000m witessed diminutive 5’2″ Yifter finishing in 28:53.1, followed by Frank Shorter (28:53.9) of Florida Track Club, third was Gary Bjorklund (30:05.3) of Minnesota, in addition to fourth was Ethiopia’s Wahib Nasrech (30:34.3).
from the 1500m, Kenya’s Kipchoge Keino, attempting to crush the globe record (with the help of 800m Kenyan runner Naftali Bon running as a driving rabbit), moved nearly a quarter of a lap away by the top challenging pursuers, winning in 3:37.5, ahead of runner up in addition to fellow countryman Benjamin Wabura Jipcho (3:43.9) who had won the 3000 meters-steeplechase just an hour earlier! Third from the 1500m was US Army’s Jim Crawford (3:48.0), fourth was John Baker (3:55.2) of Sports International. Africa’s 3000m steeplechase record holder Jipcho had won in 8:45.2, twenty meters ahead of Oregon Track Club’s Mike Manley (8:48.3), Sid Sink (9:00.2) of Ohio placed third, in addition to Muhammad Yohanes (9:06.2) of Ethiopia.
from the 800m, Kenya’s Robert Ouko won in 1:46.7, a meter ahead of Juris Luzins of US Marines; with Ken Swenson (USA record holder) of the US Army placed third. Ouko could enroll in North Carolina Central University, he could be coached by legendary African American Leroy T.Walker who became the first black to coach a United States men’s Olympic track team in addition to to serve as president of the United States Olympic Committee. Walker died in Durham, in April 2012, aged 93. At the 1972 Olympic Games, Robert Ouko could be fourth from the 800m in addition to be part of the 4x400m Kenya Olympic gold medal winning team. Julius Sang, also part of Kenya’s gold-winning team was also enrolled at NCCU alongside Ouko
Some some other notable winners at the meet included USA’s John Smith (Southern California Striders) who trimphed in both the 200m (20.7) in addition to 400m (45.7); Rayleane Boyle (23.1) of Australia from the 200m ahead of runner-up in addition to African legend Alice Annum (23.2) of Ghana.
Overall, the USA men’s team beat the visiting teams by 111-78, in addition to the USA women overwhelmingly won easily.
Associated Press. “Pan African Games Close,” in “The Robesonian” (July 18, 1971).