Asaba, the host city of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships on Tuesday sets a record in the history of the Championships as it hosts the inaugural Delegates Registration Meeting (DRM).
Since the first edition of the championship in 1979, this is the first time there will be a DRM. An initiative of the Solomon Ogba led Local Organizing 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. 42 of the 54 member federations attended the Tuesday meeting.
A statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, head Media and Publicity CAA Asaba 2018, said majority of the delegates were thrilled and excited by the novel idea.
Abraham Mutui, leader of Team Kenya, 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”
Hadeer Darwish, who represents the Egypt Athletics Federation, 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 9 women are not in Asaba just for the beautiful stadium and well organized championships, she said they are coming to make an impact, especially in the throw events.
Belilign Nekoya, the Secretary General of Ethiopia Athletics Federation, 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 organizing 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.