Nigeria wins rights to host African Athletics Championship

National Stadium Lagos
National Stadium Lagos

Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has been awarded hosting right to the 22nd African Championships in Athletics by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).

According to Inside Games, an online media outlet, the agreement to host the games was signed between the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, and the President of CAA, Hamad Malboum, with the minister believing that the competition will serve as an avenue for developing talents.

“Sport is one of the strongest weapons for promoting development in Africa. The only thing that can provide gainful employment for youths is sport.

“With the support of the government, I have discussed with officials in South Africa that there is a need for us to strengthen the Council of Sports Ministers meeting.

“And we must begin to identify the relevant issues that will move African sports forward and also give Africa a comparative advantage to compete with other countries of the world,’’ the minister was quoted as saying.

Mr Dalung also announced the establishment of a High Altitude Training Centre in Jos which the CAA would support technically.

He stated that the absence of training facilities within the continent made it compulsory for African athletes to travel for training outside Africa and end up becoming citizens of countries where they trained and camped.

“If we must also domesticate our own talents and skills for the benefit of young Africans, then we must invest in the provision of modern sporting facilities in Africa, he said.

“This will take us to the development of a functional high performance system with all the necessary equipment for the training, camping and development of African athletes.

The 2018 championship is expected to be held at the National Stadium, Lagos which hosted the event in 1989.

South Africa finished tops at the last edition held in 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco, where they won 10 gold medals. Nigeria finished second with eight gold medals.

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