Ten days after its successful completion, the CAA Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships continues to attract good comments, especially from the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), the sports governing body in Africa.
In a message to the Championships Technical Director, Yussuf Alli, also copied to the LOC, Aziz Daouda, of the CAA Technical and Organizational Department, praised the former African record holder in long jump for a job well.
Wrote Daouda, “I would like to thank you for the great job done to let us have a successful African athletics championships. You were at the heart of the organization and you gave everything to ensure a successful championship, Africa is indeed blessed to have you.”
The CAA said the crowd in Asaba for the championships shows that Delta is the home of athletics in Africa,
“In most parts of Africa, it is very rare to see fans paying to watch athletics. However, in Asaba, fans not only paid and filled the twenty-two thousand sitter stadium to capacity for the five days, thousands who couldn’t get ticket were turned back, Asaba 2018 was a great championships for us.”
Alli, a former Commonwealth and IAAF Continental Champion, said Asaba 2018 also broke other records. They include but are not limited to the paying of prize monies to athletes, payment of transport subsidy to participating countries, highest number of athletes in attendance; many of them renown world beaters, highest number of records set, 46 events and with 52 countries in attendance, the highest so far since the inception of the championship in 1979.
As for the athletes complaining about the track, Alli described it as the songs of losers,
“As a former athlete, I know it is sometimes impossible to peak twice in a season. You can’t peak at the Commonwealth Games, then start build up again and peak at African Championships, your performance will drop. I think this is what affected most of the athletes blaming the track for their poor time(s). You will recall that these same athletes won at our test trials on July 18. At that time, they did not complain about this same track. So what has changed between July 18 and August 1? Was the track they ran on July 18 removed and a new one laid?” Alli asked rhetorically.
Alli urged athletes complaining to go to the IAAF website and read about the great performances of the likes of Bostwana’s Nijel Amos, who beat leader in 800m, Kenyan Emmanuel Korir, on the same track.
Kenyan Winny Chebet and Moroccan duo Rabab Arrafi and Malika Akkaoui running one the best 1500m time on the track with just 0.15 separating the top three finishers.
Another Kenyan, Beatrice Chepkoech’s performance in the 3000m steeplechase was in 8:59.88, the ninth fastest run of all time and one of the fastest un-paced performances ever.
Caster Semenya of South Africa set a new national record in 400m and a championships record in 800m, on the same track.
Alli further opined, “Everyday is not Christmas. In sports, you win and celebrate. When you lose, you go and train. There is no point making excuses and blaming the track for your failure”.