The President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, (IAAF), Sebastian Coe has arrived in Asaba, Delta State ahead of the commencement of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship.
The IAAF boss came with some other officials of the world Athletics governing athletics body to savour the best of Athletics in Africa.
On arrival, Coe was treated to some dance steps by the Delta State troupe and he expressed delight at the rosy welcome he was accorded by the Local Organising Chairman, Solomon Ogba and other officials.
Arriving same time on Tuesday with the IAAF President in Asaba was the Senegal and Morocco contingents.
One of the top Moroccan Athletes, Rhizlane Siba said on arrival that they have gotten behind them the glitches in their air connection from Lagos to Asaba; adding that the new focus now is to battle for medals and Honours for their country.
“ I have been here (Warri) before and I won a gold medal in the High Jump event, I hope to get another gold this time around,” Rhizlane who won the High Jump gold at the 2014 African Championships declared.
Already, the Stephen Keshi Stadium is set for Wednesday’s opening ceremony where the best of Delta State Culture will be showcased, and some events will effectively get underway.
It was Twenty-nine years ago in Lagos that Nigeria last hosted the African Championship.
The country last topped the medal table three editions ago, at Porto Nov in Benin in 2012 with South Africa winning the next two editions in 2014 and 2016 on home soil.
Many are keen to see how things will pan out this time with most of the top athletes from the different African countries on the ground to compete.
Nigeria have some strong home prospects including Tobi Amusan in the women’s 100m hurdles, Ese Brume in the women’s long jump, Queen Obisesan in the women’s hammer and women’s 100m and 200m specialist Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, who is set for stiff opposition from the Ivorian on parade.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala is not in Asaba and that makes the men’s 200m open.
Home sprinter Divine Oduduru is a firm favorite here even though a lot of surprises and possible upsets cannot be ruled out.