By Ben Efe
All the race times and field distances performed by athletes at the 2018 African Athletics Championships have been quashed by the world’s athletics ruling body, the IAAF.
Apart from the walk race, shot put and pole vault, the Confederation of Africa Athletics informed member federations last week that all other performances will not be recognized by the IAAF, because the race tracks and most of the field equipment are non-compliant with IAAF specifications.
The CAA that gave the go-ahead for the championships to commence, even as it was glaring the stadium was not ready to host a competition of that magnitude, has sent a letter of apology to member federations for the anomaly.
Speaking on the development, former 1500m world champion, Hicham El Guerrouj described the situation as shameful and calamitous. “Such a waste…shame on my sport and the continent,” the Moroccan great tweeted.
The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe and the CAA president Kalkaba Malboum graced the occasion, which threw up lots of inconveniences for the athletes and officials. Coe after the championships gave commendations to the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa for accepting to host when nobody was ready to shoulder the responsibility.
However, the low-quality equipment installed at the Stephen Keshi Stadium remained a source of concern for some government officials in Delta State. They must now decide whether or not to upgrade the running tracks and the field equipment, otherwise, the Stadium will not be eligible to host future athletics events.