Flags of countries participating are hold as contingents march during the opening of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in Midwestern Nigeria, on August 1, 2018.
The five-day biennial African Senior Athletics Championship has got underway at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in Midwestern Nigerian. / AFP PHOTO /

By Ben Efe

FIVE days of athletics competition comes to a close today at the Stephen Keshi Stadium here in Asaba and the chase for the medals to determine which nation tops the 21st African Athletics Championships will reach fever pitch.

South Africa with six gold medals seems untouchable, but Nigeria the host will look to close up the gap. However, the Nigerian team deserves a accolades for putting up a strong showing, despite their unpreparedness for the event. The team will have the opportunity to win two gold medals today. In the women 400m hurdles, men and women 200m and also the 4x400m which will be the last event of the day.

“We have done our best and it is very encouraging what we have achieved so far. As for the events tomorrow(today), we are hoping that things will go our way,” said Nigerian head coach Gad Onumegbu

On the organizational front, embattled LOC chairman, Solomon Ogba gave himself a pass-mark even as he acknowledged the failure of his committee to respond quickly  the problems that surfaced when the visiting athletes touched down in Nigeria.

“If I wasn’t organizing I will score the championships 85 percent. I have been to many African championships and they didn’t come up with some of the novel ideals that we had here.

“Apart from the initial hiccups in travel arrangements, this should be a memorable championships. I am proud to say that we had one of the best  championships. We have about 10 world champions, in attendance, this is something that has never happened before.”

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