The serene city of Sagamu will this week host the creme de la creme of athletics and ultra-run in Africa and the world as they all arrive for the first edition of Valuejet IAU African Championships.
Tagged ‘Remo 2019’, the Championships slated for December 7 is a three in one championship.
Apart from the more than 30 African countries that registered to participate in the 50km race, there is the non-championships athletes who are running not just because of their passion for ultra-run but for the thousands of US dollars and medals at stake.
The party is also open to fun runners, who have the opportunity to participate in the 5km fun run which starts at the Ikenne Central Mosque and ends at the Sagamu International Stadium.
Just like the non-championships runners, the 5km fun runners are also competing for medals and cash.
Already, dignitaries for the championships have started arriving Nigeria. An early bird who arrived Sunday night was the Secretary General and Head of Operation Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Lami Fatty who was received by the President of IAU in Africa, Solomon Ogba and the Championships Technical Director, Yussuf Alli.
The trio of Ogba, Fatty, Alli and championships consultant Bukola Olopade are expected to go through all the technical details of the championships in Sagamu on Monday before Ogba and Fatty leave for Port Harcourt, River State where they will meet with Professor Ken Anugweje, the director of CAA High Performance Center at the University of Port Harcourt.
Ogba and Fatty are also expected to be in Awka, Anambra State for the congress of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
Ogba said he feels highly honoured that, as the President of IAU in Africa, his country is hosting the first championships,
“This is a great honour for me. Delegates including the world president of IAU will be in Sagamu. We are expecting runners from more than 30 countries. Personally, I feel highly honoured. I must thank our sponsor Valuejet and consultant Nilayo Sports for making this possible. We are also grateful to the media and the sports family in Nigeria”, said Ogba.