By Ben Efe
Top African athletics stars have always shied away from the senior African Championships, but the 2018 edition billed for Asaba, Delta State in August is set to be a difference.
Local Organising Committee chairman and former Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Solomon Ogba disclosed in Lagos yesterday, that the Asaba 2018 Championships will serve as the qualifiers for the Athletics World Cup and the 2019 World Championships. He stated that there is a new IAAF procedure, which requires athletes to pick qualification from regional championships.
“With this, we are expecting that all African athletes currently making waves in the world will be coming to Asaba.
“They need to qualify for the World Cup and the World Championships,” said Ogba.
He added the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of the African Championships, will be ready for use in June, as only minor fittings remain to be done.
“As we are talking work on the stadium is almost complete. All the required equipment have been paid for and ready for delivery, between now and June the last set of work will be completed.”
He submitted that the stadium tracks is one of its kind in Africa with nine lanes, sprints finishing lines in both ways, to guard against excessive winds as the case might be.
Lagos was originally billed to host the event, but they showed little interest in pursuing preparations. Delta had to step in and, according to Ogba, Asaba will be ready to host one of the most memorable African Championships.