After scoring a big point with the hosting of the inaugural edition of the Africa Junior Athletics Championship in Warri, reputedly the best in the series till date, Delta State is set for another big mark with the flagship Asaba 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championships with as many as 15 countries submitting early entries for the event scheduled for August.
Apart from the host country, Nigeria, the early entries include top contenders Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, Seychelles, Congo DR and Cape Verde. Others are Mauritius, Djibouti, Togo, Gambia, Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville.
Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Solomon Ogba, says with the enthusiasm of many African countries for the event, a record attendance is expected, assuring that for the first time in the history of the biennial athletics championship, all the countries in Africa would be represented in Asaba.
“I can guarantee you that we will be having a historic championship in Asaba as every country will be represented. The LOC will be sponsoring two athletes from all the countries so you can be sure that everybody will be present,” the former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria assured.
Ogba who played a key role in the successful hosting of first Africa Youth Championships which has served as a template in subsequent editions disclosed that the aim is to also make Asaba 2018 the best ever in the history of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.
“We want to set a new standard as far as the Africa Senior Athletics Championships is concerned, the goal is to make this edition as glamorous as the World Championships itself,” Ogba stressed.
Aside from Nigeria who have entered 72male, 69female and 29 officials, the likes of Kenya, Algeria and Senegal are also planning a large contingent for the Athletics Championships in Asaba.
Kenya have provisionally entered 34 male and 27 female athletes as well as 11 officials.
Algeria have 31 male and 29 female athletes on their roster with 17 officials while
Senegal entered 30male and 30 female athletes as well as nine officials.
The Asaba 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championship takes place at the Asaba Township Stadium between August 1 and 5.
Breakdown of early entries:
Country Male Athletes Female Athletes Officials
Algeria 31 29 17
Cape Verde 3 3 2
Congo 14 8 0
Djibouti 7 1 3
Nigeria 72 69 29
Senegal 30 30 9
Seychelles 7 2 2
Togo 10 5 5
Cote d’Ivoire 16 21 9
Rwanda 2 2 3
Mauritius 10 5 3
Gambia 7 1 6
Egypt 11 11 5
Kenya 34 27 11
Congo 11 6 7