NAIROBI, Kenya, January 27 – Lack of a warm up track at Nyayo National Stadium is the only challenge facing the Local Organising Committee ahead of the 17th Senior African Senior Athletics Championships.Organizational delegate Frankie Fredericks said on Tuesday that the committee is in a race against time to install the track but is confident that it will be in place ahead of the test event on April 18.
“We have a challenge that a warm up track needs to be created. We only have five months which means that we have to work day and night but we are confident that by the test event the warm up track will be there,” said Fredericks.
Fredericks said that the test event will have to be postponed if everything including the equipment is not in place by the deadline.
“A test event is important for our technical experts to evaluate if everything is working. If everything is not in place by the 18th we might have to postpone the event,” said the former 200m World Champion.
The multiple Olympic silver medalist who is accompanied by Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) secretary general fellow Lamine Faty and technical delegate Vivian Gungaram is happy with the overall preparations ahead of the event scheduled for July 28-August 1.
“We are satisfied with what we have seen. All the top athletes will come to this event and we need to make sure that they have the best facilities, accommodation and atmosphere,” said Fredericks.
He acknowleged that Nairobi has its own logistical problems but is counting on the close proximity of the hotels to Nyayo to ease the athletes’ movements.
“We have visited many hotels in Nairobi and are delighted with what we are saying,” said Fredericks.
Fredericks announced that they will come up with a promotional plan to put athletes at the forefront of raising the profile of the tournament.
“This is one of the few times that Kenyan athletes will compete at home. To have them win and run with the Kenyan flag infront of their home fans will be amazing,” said the double All Africa gold medalist.