Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, on Monday, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, performed the symbolic hoisting of flags of participating nations in the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships (ASAC) christened: ‘Asaba 2018’.

This is coming in less than 48 hours to the continental athletics showpiece commencing on August 1.

At the brief event, the governor heaved a sigh of relief, saying that after months of strident efforts to make the stadium ready for the event, everything that would make the championship hitch-free had been put in place.

“This championship means a lot to the people of Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria, but, particularly, to us as government. Asaba is agog as we look forward to host a successful championship.

“In the last several months, we have been on our toes, working to make the stadium ready, we thank God that we are ready and I want to commend members of the local organising committee for their commitment to see that everything is in place for the championship.

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“It is a thing of joy that most of our guests have already arrived and by Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the championship will commence.

“We are committed to sports development in the state, we hope to channel the energy of our youths to sports and utilise the facilities that we have,” Okowa stated.

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Chairman, LOC for the championship, Mr. Solomon Ogba, disclosed that of the 54 African countries billed to participate in the championship, 52 had already arrived Nigeria as at Monday.

Ogba stated that the hoisting of the flags signalled, “the commencement of the championship. Visitors will enjoy the events and it is worthy to note that championships are hosted by cities, not countries, that is why we have Asaba 2018.”

Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Mr. Tonobok Okowa observed that the hoisting of flags of participating countries was a mark of respect for those countries.