A six-man Team Athletics Liberia delegation, comprising four athletes and two coaches, have arrived in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria to participate in the African Senior Athletics Championship.
US-based Liberian athletes Akeem Sirleaf, Wellington Zaza and Coach Sayon Cooper, are said to have arrived in Abasa from the US, whereas local athletes, Otricia Borkuah, Kadmiel Enders and Coach Bill Sheriff departed the country yesterday and will subsequently arrive there for the competition.
Akeem will participate in the 200m male sprint, while Wellington will do 110 meters hurdle male, Otricia and Kedmiel will participate in the female and male high jump respectively.
The 21st African Senior Athletics Championships is scheduled to be held from Wednesday – Sunday, August 1–5, 2018.
At present, 25 countries have already registered and current breakdown indicates 473 male athletes have already been listed for the championships, while 400 female athletes have also registered for the track and field events at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State.
Accordingly, about 205 accompanying officials and the athletes will be set for the Africa’s flagship athletics competition.
South Africa is the defending champion–having won the last two editions hosted in Marrakech, Morocco and Durban, South Africa. And the South Africans are already talking tough–as they seek to complete a hat trick of titles in Asaba even though other countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya and Liberia are set for the Asaba’s chase.
Since its inception in 1979, 43 African countries have participated, and South Africa and Nigeria have each won the Championships eight times respectively, followed by Kenya, three times and Algeria, once.
Overrating countries such as Morrocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Ethiopia have never carried the Championships.
As for Liberia, she has won only three bronze medals throughout the tournament in 38 years.
The African Championships in Athletics is a continental athletics event organized by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), the continental association for the sport in Africa. Since its inaugural edition in 1979 it was at first organized intermittently with nine editions held in fourteen years until 1993. Following the tenth edition in 1996 it has been organized biennially on even years, and is always held in the same year as the Summer Olympics. The latest 20th edition was held in Durban, South Africa in June 2016.
The event featured a men’s marathon from 1979 to 1990. Following it being dropped from the program an African Marathon Championships was briefly contested. The event program has roughly matched that of the International Association of Athletics Federations with the exception of the 50 kilometers race walk.