The half century since the Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikila, won the Olympic gold medal in world record time in Rome in 1960 has been a golden period for African athletics. Since then, Africans have won 57 Olympic gold medals, numerous IAAF World Championships gold and established a string of world records in international competition. Most, but not all, come from the Eastern African highlands of Kenya and Ethiopia with other notable successes from Mediterranean athletes especially Morocco; and they are amongst the very elite of the world s athletes.
Running for Black Gold documents in both text and statistics the African dominance in the middle and long distance events in international athletics competition, highlighting the successes of over 100 male and female athletes, their gold medals and world records. Amateur sportsman and writer Kevin Lillis focuses on the on-track performances of these athletes at the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships exclusively, as the black gold standard against which supreme performance is measured.
Written from the viewpoint of a keen observer of both Africa and athletics, Lillis provides a broad map of the key moments in the history of African runners running for black gold culminating in the dominance of the Kenyans at the last IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea. The text and accompanying statistics are illustrated with stunning photographs of the outstanding gold medal winners and world record holders by internationally acclaimed photographer Mark Shearman. Sports enthusiasts especially those with an interest in the development of African athletics and the history of the Olympics as well as journalists, broadcasters and sport statisticians will revel in this revealing and easily read account of African athletics achievement from Bikila to Bekele.