Solomon Awaju, the leader of the Eritrean contingent to the 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta, on Wednesday said the athletes were hopeful of good performance in spite of facing challenges since arrival.
Eritrea was one of the countries stranded at the Muritala International Airport in Lagos, and waited 48 hours for a connection flight to Asaba.
Awaju said the athletes had put the travel difficulties behind them and were focused on representing their country well.
“The past days have been so stressful for us since we arrived in Nigeria, spending close to 48 hours at the airport before arriving Asaba yesterday.
“Things like this will no doubt affect any athlete but the athletes are already adjusting well and hopefully they will put up a good performance,” he said.
He added that the hospitality the contingent received since arriving Asaba was encouraging, and had helped to ease the tension.
Tesgay Mehari, one of the Eritrean athletes, said he was happy his team was finally in Asaba, and that the past few days had been stressful.
“I am happy that the storm is finally over, the past days have been hectic and discouraging,” he said.
The opening ceremony which was supposed to start by 9am has been shifted to 5:30pm.
Close to 52 countries are expected to feature in the event that would end on Aug. 5.