Head of Technical for the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships, Yussuf Alli, says that Asaba, Delta state is now fully ready to host Africa’s best athletes in its flagship track and field competition, after months of working round the clock to get things done.
“Yes, we are fully ready to host Africa now, after the recent test event (African tour) that was held to test run our facilities, we have corrected the few lapses we saw and now we are good to go,” the former Africa record holder in the men’s Long Jump event stated.
Alli said he is confident of a good show from the African athletes that would be on parade, adding that there would be much excitement on and off the pitch of action.
“I am happy that the participating countries are taking this championship serious and with the facilities we have put in place, one can only expect the best of athletics from August 1-5”, Alli assured.
During the last inspection exercise of facilities by officials of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Asaba is deemed not just to have met the continent’s requirement, but it was asserted that the facilities on the ground can also host a world championship.
South Africa are the defending champions of this biennial athletics championship and while they are hoping to complete a hat-trick of wins in Nigeria, they are braced for a tough battle with the likes of Kenya and of course, hosts Nigeria.
Meanwhile, two former Director Generals for the Nigeria Sports Commission (NSC) Dr Patrick Ekeji, and Gbenga Elegbeleye have both signed up as volunteers at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship.
Ekeji, a former Nigeria international was first appointed National Director of Sports at the National Sports Commission in December 1994, Director of Sports Development at the National Sports Commission, 2001, and then Director-General, National Sports Commission in 2009, a post he retired from in 2013.
While Elegbeleye who was appointed as the NSC boss in 2013, has been a notable figure in the Nigeria sports polity for over two decades.
It will be recalled that Chairman of the Local Organising Committee championships, Solomon Ogba, on Tuesday, said beyond hosting a successful championship, the organizer intends to set new standards that the next host will have to maintain.