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Nigeria: African athletes stranded in Lagos ahead of Athletics Championship


Hundreds of athletes scheduled to participate at the African Senior Athletics Championships are crying foul after being stranded at the Lagos Airport in Nigeria.

Usher Komugisha, a renown sports journalist from Uganda tweeted pictures of a stranded Ugandan team and a video of a Moroccan high jumper, who were lamenting that they have been stranded in Lagos for at least two days.

‘‘Nigeria has done a very POOR job with the organization of flights! Look at Team Uganda,’‘ Komugisha tweeted.

We are stranded in Lagos. We haven't trained for three days, and we haven't eaten properly in two days.

‘‘We made it to Lagos two nights ago. We slept the first night at the airport and the second night at the hotel. They claimed that we had a flight coming today, but we have spent the whole day at the airport,’‘ said Rhizlane Siba, a Moroccan high jumper.

‘‘We are stranded in Lagos. We haven’t trained for three days, and we haven’t eaten properly in two days,’‘ Rhizlane added.

Our efforts to reach the organisers were futile.

The championship, hosted in the southern Delta State kicks off on Wednesday with the men’s and women’s decathlons. This year’s edition features athletes from 52 countries including global icons like South Africa’s Caster Semenya.

South Africa are the defending champions of the African Senior Athletics having hosted and won the last edition on home soil in Durban.

On Monday, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, Solomon Ogba told journalists that the ‘few places still being perfected’ will be ready ahead of the August 1 opening ceremony at the newly completed Stephen Keshi Stadium.

Photo credit: Usher Komugisha

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