Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)The 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships, ongoing in Nigeria, should have bolstered relations between the participating 52 African nations and showcased the country's abilities to host world-class events.
How this year's African Athletics Championships descended into chaos
Instead, it has descended into chaos and seen countries such as Tanzania pull out of the games over what they say is poor organization and a lack of communication from organizers.
The games kicked off on Wednesday. However, many of the athletes were still hundreds of miles away from the venue, stranded at the Murtala Muhammad International airport in Lagos.
The Kenyan team had arrived in Lagos on Monday afternoon but did not leave for Asaba, where the games are being held in southeast Nigeria, until Wednesday.
Some of the athletes say they faced visa issues and others were forced to camp at the airport because there were no connecting flights.
Photos of top African athletes sleeping on the floor surrounded by their luggage at the airport were posted on social media, sparking anger. Athletics Tanzania decided to pull out of the competition after hearing about the chaos, its secretary said.
Major events, including the women's 100-meter race scheduled for the first day, were postponed because of organizing problems, organizers Confederation of Africa Athletics. or CAA, said.
The stranded Kenyan athletes eventually traveled to Asaba on Wednesday morning, where they competed in the 10,000-meter race on the same day.
Kenya's sports ministry has reacted furiously to the way its athletes were treated and said it would petition the world body, the International Association of Athletics Federation, and the CAA.
Some have questioned Asaba's preparedness to host the competition, which serves as a qualifier for the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic in September.