Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
13 Nov 2014
4:30 pm

Athletics needs a fresh approach: Ato Boldon

Wesley Botton

Former world 200m champion Ato Boldon says international athletics officials need to shake things up and formulate new ideas to keep pace with rapidly advancing, innovative models produced by other sport codes.

Ato Boldon , four time Olympic medallist during the Global Athletics press conference at Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga on November 13, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

“The business of athletics has to start with an honest conversation, and that’s why this event is so important,” Boldon said on Thursday, ahead of the two-day Global Athletics Conference (GAC) starting in Durban on Friday.

While cricket had created the highly successful Twenty20 format and rugby boasted the popular sevens format, Boldon said athletics was losing traction in the race for corporate backing.

“Our product needs to offer an attractive image to those who are not involved in the sport,” he said.

Boldon, who bagged four Olympic sprint medals for Trinidad and Tobago, was one of numerous current and former international stars who arrived in Durban for the GAC, hosted by KwaZulu-Natal Athletics.

Heptathlon world record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee of the United States was also set to speak at the event, while Kenyan marathon stars Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang were expected to engage in panel discussions at the inaugural conference.