The 2015 All-Africa Games are underway in Brazzaville, Congo, where the event was first held 50 years ago. The Opening Ceremony for the 11th edition of the continental championships is Friday, though preliminary play has already begun in select sports.
More than 50 nations are projected to participate in the showcase, which features a wide range of sports, including classics such as football and basketball, as well as the more unique pétanque. It should make for an eventful couple of weeks.
Let's check out all of the important information for the latest version of the quadrennial Games. That's followed by a schedule with key dates for each sport and a preview featuring some of the notable storylines to watch.
Where: Brazzaville, Congo
When: Sept. 2 — Sept. 19, 2015
Sports: Competition Listing
Live Stream: BrazzaTV
|2015 All-Africa Games: Dates for Each Sport|
|Event||Dates of Competition|
|Athletics||Sept. 13 – Sept. 17|
|Badminton||Sept. 2 – Sept. 9|
|Basketball||Sept. 9 – Sept. 19|
|Beach Volleyball||Sept. 5 – Sept. 17|
|Boxing||Sept. 3-9, Sept. 11|
|Boxing Pharaohs||Sept. 6 – Sept. 16|
|Cycling||Sept. 10 – Sept. 13|
|Disabled Sports||Sept. 13 – Sept. 18|
|Fencing||Sept. 2 – Sept. 6|
|Football||Sept. 6-7, Sept. 9-10, Sept. 12-13, Sept. 15, Sept. 17-18|
|Gymnastics||Sept. 2 – Sept. 6|
|Handball||Sept. 10 – Sept. 19|
|Judo||Sept. 13 – Sept. 15|
|Karate||Sept. 5 – Sept. 7|
|Nzango||Sept. 6 – Sept. 16|
|Petanque||Sept. 5 – Sept. 9|
|Swimming||Sept. 6 – Sept. 11|
|Table Tennis||Sept. 10 – Sept. 19|
|Taekwondo||Sept. 16 – Sept. 19|
|Tennis||Sept. 11 – Sept. 18|
|Volleyball||Sept. 2 – Sept. 14|
|Weightlifting||Sept. 7-9, Sept. 11-12|
|Wrestling||Sept. 15 – Sept. 18|
South Africa is coming off a dominant showing in Maputo, Mozambique, four years ago, when it finished with 156 total medals, 58 more than second-place Nigeria. The nation's 61 golds were also far and away the highest total, with Egypt next at 32.
In terms of gold medals, either South Africa or Egypt has finished atop the table in each of the past seven editions of the All-Africa Games.
Egypt will be without a couple of medal-contending squads at this year's event, however. Both football teams, the men's under-23 squad and the women's senior national team, were withdrawn during the build-up to the Games.
That's good news for countries like Ghana and Cameroon, which both won two medals in football during the last Games. Ghana won men's gold and women's silver, while Cameroon captured women's gold and men's bronze.
In terms of individual events, one player to watch closely is badminton player Edwin Ekiring from Nigeria. He's been trending in the right direction at recent Games, winning bronze in 2007 and moving up to silver in 2011.
Edgar Kazibwe of Kawowo Sports noted the star said in an interview with Xinhua Africa that he's now got his sights set on finishing atop the podium.
"I know it will not be easy to win gold, but I will work hard to make sure I improve on the silver medal I got the last time," Ekiring said.
He's one of thousands of competitors with the same dream. Only a select group will realize it over the next couple of weeks, though.
The All-Africa Games take center stage on the continent every four years. But this edition is a little more special because it's the 50th anniversary of the Games.