Travel chaos threatens Athletics Championships start

Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images

The 21st African Senior Athletics Championships kicks off in Asaba, Nigeria on Wednesday, but many of the participating athletes are unlikely to make it to the venue in time for the opening events.

According to various reports, some 300 athletes are stuck in the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos due to a three-day backlog of flights.

Chartered flights have been arranged for the almost 450km trip, but with the opening event - the decathlon - supposed to start at 9am, it remains to be seen who makes it to Asaba on time.

Moroccan high jumper Rhizlane Siba said their preparations for the event have been massively affected by the chaos.

"We made it to Lagos two nights ago," she is quoted by AfricaNews. "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.

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

The African Senior Athletics Championships runs from August 1-5. South Africa are the defending champions, having topped the medals table in 2016 (Durban) and 2014 (Marrakesh).