Asaba has set a record in the history of the African Senior Athletics Championships, as the host city of the 21st edition with the opening of Delegates Registration Meeting (DRM).
Since its first edition in 1979, this is the first time there will be a DRM, an initiative of the Solomon Ogba-led Local Organising Committee (LOC). The essence of the DRM is to get the participating countries to register and be accredited, seamlessly.
The idea is also to ensure they are familiar with the host city and also get the opportunity to inspect facilities and equipment for the championships.
Forty-two of the 54 member federations attended yesterday meeting.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity CAA Asaba 2018, Olukayode Thomas, said majority of the delegates were thrilled and excited by the novel idea.
Leader of Team Kenya, Abraham Mutui, said Asaba 2018 has raised the bar and set a standard that other African countries must either maintain or take to a higher level.
“This only happens at the Olympic Games. I am so happy to be here and be part of this historical event. What I have seen here surpasses what I saw in previous African championships. Kenya is here with all our star athletes, don’t forget Asaba 2018 is also the qualifier for the IAAF Intercontinental Cup in Czech Republic in September”
Egypt Athletics Federation representative, Hadeer Darwish, said Asaba will be exciting and a great show on and off the track.
Darwish said Egypt’s 26 man team of 17 men and nine women are not in Asaba just for the beautiful stadium and well organised championships, she said they are coming to make an impact, especially in the throw events.
Secretary General of Ethiopia Athletics Federation, Belilign Nekoya, said the country with the largest contingent are coming to Asaba to win the African title and dominate the African team to the Intercontinental Cup. He commended the LOC for organising the DRM. He also urged future hosts to emulate Asaba.
Somali Athletics President, Kadija Adem Dahin, said the idea of DRM is welcomed, as on arrival, athletes and officials will not be bothered about registration and bottlenecks that distract athletes.
“We will just arrive and face the business of competition for medals,” said the Somalia President, who is coming with five athletes and one official