Delegates scrutinise facilities for African Athletics Championships
By Mutwiri Mutuota
Three delegates from the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) began an inspection visit of facilities for Nairobi 2010 African Athletics Championships as local organisers exuded confidence they would pass the test.
Retired Namibian sprint star and an organisation delegate at CAA, Frankie Fredericks, led the three-member inspection team that includes the continental athletics governing body’s vice-president, Vivian Gunaram (Mauritius), and secretary general, Lamine Faty (Senegal).
Yesterday, the CAA team that arrived on Sunday toured Nyayo National Stadium, the chosen venue. They were taken on a tour of the facility by Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO, David Okeyo, Technical Director John Velzian, Media Director, Peter Angwenyi and Sports Stadia Management Board CEO Benjamin Sogomo. Athletics Kenya (AK) Vice-chairman Lt. Gen Jack Tuwei was also present among other officials.
Report On Progress
The CAA delegation will address the media tomorrow afternoon to deliver their report on the progress as well as make recommendations on what needs to be done for the July 28 to August 1 event.
They are expected to conclude their inspection mandate by visiting hotels earmarked for VIP guests, official families, athletes and media today and tomorrow.
"We expect them to be satisfied with what we have done after inspecting what is on the ground since the LOC has put everything in place. They will give us recommendations on what we have not done so that we can have it in place," Okeyo told reporters of the team appointed for the task by CAA president, Kalkaba Malboum.
Yesterday’s tour took the visiting officials through the warm-up track, toilets, athlete entry points and proposed mixed zone, media tribune, interview room, media centre, doping area, technical offices, CAA offices and VIP sitting area within the stadium.
Sogomo disclosed his body would fully abide by recommendations of the CAA team for Nyayo to meet required standards for the event, implying a facelift is in the offing.
"By and large, the track is good and with a seating space of 30,000, we are planning on ensuring that most of the stadium facilities will be fitted with seats.
"We will do all adjustments required by the international body in collaboration with LOC. I believe the LOC is working with relevant authorities to ease the movement of athletes and vehicles to the facility," he stated.
He said it was not immediately possible to quantify the cost of repairs and upgrade needed adding, "Even if it costs Sh5m or Sh10m, it will be a worthy investment. We have five months to get ready."
During the inspection tour, the Fredericks’ team appeared impressed by what they saw with the media centre being a slight matter of concern.
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