African Record holder Marie Josee Ta Lou has expressed her frustration over some inadequacies experienced by teams on arrival for the 21st African Athletics Championship in Asaba.
Many athletes were seen sleeping at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos waiting for connecting flights to Benin, others returned to their hotels after waiting for several hours. Those who eventually got a flight to Benin had to wait for 2 hours or more for a connecting bus from Benin to Asaba.
Some also had issues of accommodation on arrival to Asaba as they were told there was no room booked for the athletes.
Days of training gone for athletes who were yet to complete their training schedule while others were fatigued and hungry waiting at the airport.
Ta lou who also had a share of the delayed flight voiced her frustrations at the lack of organisation of the Africa Athetics Championships via her Instagram page Marie Ta Lou (@majo10s70)
“Three days of travel for some, two days of travel for another. Like you travel from Africa to Asia or America. If you are not ready to organize something please don’t,” the 100m and 200m world silver medallist said.
“It is my first and last time to come to Nigeria to compete. No respect for people. This is my fourth African Championship and it’s my first time to have that kind of bad organization.”
Below are some social media reactions on the poor organisation by the local organising committee of the 2018 African Athletics Championship.
Chaos in Nigeria 🇳🇬!
Over 300 athletes from 20 countries stuck at Lagos Airport & don’t know when they’ll head to Asaba for the African Senior Athletics Championships.
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) July 31, 2018
It seems #Africa's favourite and World Leader in the 100m, Marie Ta Lou (@majo10s70) isn't happy with her experience so far since she touched down #NGR. She has been stranded in #Lagos and can't get a connecting flight to Asaba for the African Champs starting tomorrow #Asaba2018 pic.twitter.com/H3R1wGQsVT
— The Athletic Heat (@athleticheat) July 31, 2018
Moroccan highjumper Rhizlane Siba, 2014 African champion talking about their experiences in Nigeria..Athletes being stranded at the airport for 3 nights is UNACCEPTABLE. Nigeria such a disappointment. They knew they were hosting Africa Athletics Championships.. #Asaba2018 pic.twitter.com/uZxrDFgOZD
— Katami Michelle (@MichKatami) July 31, 2018
Stranded at the Lagos airport with dozens of athletes, not knowing how and when we'll be travelling to Asaba. Some athletes have already missed several days of training and are exhausted #asaba2018
— Carole Fuchs_Athle (@carofux) July 30, 2018
Now in Lagos Airport around 300 person between athletes and officials from 20 countries are waiting since this morning (10 hours) to reach Asaba the city of the African Athletics Championships. pic.twitter.com/zONLMNw8MG
— Tahar RIGHI (@RighiTahar) July 30, 2018
Shame on you Nigeria for playing Dirty tricks on African athletes who have been stranded in Lagos for more than 2 days ahead of the Africa Senior Athletics Championship. This is so sad and major investigations should be carried out by the IAA. #aSABA2018 pic.twitter.com/CxjCv7YV7F
— UGAMAN 🔱 (@Ugaman01) July 31, 2018
It’s left to be seen if Asaba 2018 will still live up to it’s billing by accomodating the number of athletes on ground and if the equipments will be adequate.