Asaba, the Delta-State capital, is buzzing ahead of Wednesday’s African Athletic tour event which will be used to test the facilities for 21st African Senior Athletics Championships, Asaba 2018 next month.
AthleticsAfrica visited the Stephen Keshi stadium, venue of Wednesday’s meet and the CAA African Championships, on Tuesday to see the extent of work at the stadium.
Although some finishing touches are still being put in place in one or two areas, those AthleticsAfrica interacted with on the ground said that they are indeed excited that Africa is coming to Asaba and that the Stephen Keshi stadium has been turned into a world class facility.
Already, the tartan track has been installed and according to some of the officials at the stadium, the track is one of the best available. It is said that the newly laid tracks will make running fluid and will enable athletes to record better timing.
The stadium setting has created a positive impression in the minds of Asaba people. The workers on the ground were seen working tirelessly to make sure that the test event holding on 18 July is a success.
The lighting is almost done, general cleaning of the chairs and installing of starting block was ongoing as at the time of filing this report.
Among those who shared their views to AthleticsAfrica at the stadium on Tuesday was Mr. Solomon Ovie who is from the Delta area.
He pledged to be around for the competition and he also said he is proud and happy while also commending the good works of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, LOC Chairman, Chief Solomon Ogba and the chairman of the Sports Council Tony Okowa,
Mr. Uyeals Cosmas is also grateful to the Governor and said he would come to watch the Athletics tour event on Wednesday and hope to see great performances.
The African Tour Meeting have been grouped into three categories – Premium, Classic and National.
The first three athletes in any Premium event will win $2000, $1000 and $750 respectively, the Classic event will get $1000, $750 and $500 each, while those in the National category will receive $300, $200 and $100 respectively.
The events to be competed for include: Men's and women’s 100m, 400m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Shot put, 100m hurdles, women’s Hammer throw, women’s 1500m, men’s 5000m, and the men and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays.