Athletes bank on African Senior Championships for Olympics tickets

.Ghana in race to host 2026 edition

The 23rd Senior African Athletics Championship scheduled for Douala, Cameroon in June, may offer Nigerian relay teams and some individual athletes the opportunity to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Confederations of African Athletics (CAA) concluded its meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, recently, with a declaration by the President, Kalkaba Melboum, that everything needed to host a successful championship is in place.

As against the earlier date of June 19 to 23, Douala 2024 Senior Africa Athletics Championship will now hold from June 21 to 26,

Kalkaba stated that CAA has the backing of Cameroon’s government to stage the Championship, which according to him, will serve as qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games.

The list of Nigerian athletes, who have booked their tickets to Paris has been on the increase in recent times. Last week, U.S.-based Favour Ofili joined the train when she ran 22.33 seconds in her 200m race to beat the Olympic benchmark of 22.57 seconds at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic held at the James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Before then, World Record holder in women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, had picked her ticket to Paris alongside Ezekiel Nathaniel (men’s 400m hurdles), Edose Ibadin (men’s 800m), Ruth Usoro (Triple and Long Jump), Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (shotput) and Favour Ashe (100m).

The Guardian, learnt, yesterday that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is working round the clock to ensure that the country’s relay teams use the Senior Athletics Championships in Douala to cement their passage to Paris.

“We still have some other individual athletes, who are yet to pick their tickets to the Olympics, and we are hopeful they will use the Douala 2024 Championship to do so,” an official said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the President of Ghana Athletics, Bawa Fuseini, says his country will bid to host the 2026 Senior African Athletics Championship, according to

Quoting Ghana’s media outlet, Joyonline, the online outfit stated that the government of Ghana ‘spent $34 million on the renovation and completion of Legon athletic track and other facilities prior to the last African Games’.

Ghana has never hosted the championships and if successful, they could become the fourth West African nation after Senegal (1979 and 1998), Nigeria (1989 and 2018) and Republic of Benin (2012) to stage it. Mauritius hosted the last edition in 2022.

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