Plans to stage a spectacular and befitting opening ceremony for the 67th Cross River State/All Nigeria Open Athletics Championships billed for the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Wednesday are underway.
The state’s Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports Patrick Ugbe told reporters on Monday that the state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has directed the organisers of the event to stage a one-of-a-kind opening ceremony for the event.
“His Excellency has directed the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the athletics championships, headed by his Excellency, the deputy governor (Efiok Cobham), to organise a befitting and spectacular opening ceremony for the championship to show our preparedness for next year’s local Olympics, the National Sports Festival which we are hosting next year,” Ugbe said.
The commissioner disclosed that state-of-the-art electronic timing devices for all categories of events registered for the three-day championships have been purchased.
“We are going to use electronic timing devices for all the categories of events that will be competed for at the championships. Apart from the track events like sprints, the quarter-mile including the quarter-mile barrier run and the long distance races which we have been using an electronic timing device for since we started sponsoring the championships three years ago, we have also acquired electronic timing device for the field events like the long jumps and the throws.
“Each of the events in this category will have a separate electronic device so that whatever marks achieved can be adjudged as real and in conformity with international standards.”
Ugbe also revealed that all the three electronic timing devices have been test-ran earlier this month at the All Cross River State secondary school championships in Calabar.