The Main Organizing Committee (MOC) of the Senior African Athletics Championships, Asaba 2018, will test run the Stephen Keshi Stadium, which is currently under reconstruction, on July 18, 2018.
The Chairman of the MOC, Chief Solomon Ogba made this known on Wednesday when the committee came to brief the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, on the progress made so far towards the hosting of the African Championship in Asaba, Delta State.
Ogba said that following the visit of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) earlier in the month to ascertain Nigeria’s readiness to host the event, all equipment needed to finalize the upgrade of the stadium have arrived.
He said: “We are on course on all the timelines. If you come to the stadium, you’ll be amazed at the progress we’ve made so far. The pitch is about the best that you can find in this country. The tartan track has arrived the country and will be in Asaba by Monday.
“We intend to complete the 9-lane track by the end of June. The floodlights, the poles, scoreboard and LED advert boards – the first in the country, will all arrive on Monday and will all be installed by the first week of July.
“We are expecting 120 top dignitaries from all over the world. The state government has given us 15 Marcopolo buses for movement of athletes and officials, while the final inspection is expected to take place in the first week of July, followed by a test run of the stadium on July 18th, 2018.”
Responding, Barrister Dalung thanked the MOC for painstakingly ensuring that Asaba puts in place excellent facilities for the African Championship billed for August.
He pledged federal government’s support while urging the committee to carry ex-internationals along.
“So far, so good. The MOC and Delta State Government have done so well, but we need to involve everyone who has a stake in Athletics, including ex athletes and the Nigeria Olympic Committee.
“The Federal Government is pledging its support, and we are committed to ensuring the security of lives and property of all participants at the Championship. It is hoped that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that Asaba 2018 becomes one of the best championships ever held in Africa”, Dalung stated.
The 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships come up from August 1 to 5 in Delta State.