Africa's largest ever sporting event, the second All Africa Games, was opened in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday (7 January) by the Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon.
GV Aircraft taxis in Lagos airport. Brigadier Johnson walks forward (2 shots)
SV Mayor of Brazzaville out of aircraft and greeted
SV Welcoming and games signs (2 shots)
SV Mayor hands torch to Brigadier Johnson
SV Women dance as torch is handed to runner (3 shots)
SV Team of runners carrying torch through streets (2 shots)
GV Stadium and crowd (2 shots)
LV General Gowon & wife take their places
LV & SV Congolese athletes parade past General Gowon (3 shots)
SV Ghana athletes parade past (2 shots)
SV Games flag handed from Congolese to Nigerian
SCU General Gowon declaring games open
LV Athlete taking bath surrounded by all countries' flags
SV Crowd watch as athlete runs up steps & lights flame (3 shots)
CU & LV Flame burns
"In the name of all competitors, I promise that we will take part in these second All Africa Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sports and the honour of our teams."
Here follows a transcript of General Gowon's declaration opening the games:
"Your excellencies, your Lords, your Highnesses, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I now have the pleasure to declare open the second All Africa Games (applause drowns out General Gown's words) Good competitions and God bless you all (more loud applause) Good luck, merci, au revoir."
Nigeria's Sam Igun took an oath on behalf of all competitors.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Africa's largest ever sporting event, the second All Africa Games, was opened in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday (7 January) by the Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon.
The official opening was the climax of seven hours of ceremony at the new national stadium in the suburbs of Lagos. The opening was watched by a capacity crowd of fifty thousand people. Athletes from thirty-nine nations are competing in twelve days of events. Tens of thousands of visitors are in Lagos for the games, which are costing Nigeria an estimated 15 million pounds sterling (35 million dollars U.S.).
The ceremonies began the day before with the arrival of the games torch from the Congo People's Republic, where the first All Africa Games were held in 1965.
The torch was brought in to the arena for a lap of honour by a Nigerian sprinter, Kola Abdulai, before being carried to the top of the stadium to light the games flame.
An oath on behalf of all competitors was taken by the captain of the Nigerian team, Sam Igun;
SYNOPSIS: Ceremonies opening the second All Africa Games in Nigeria began on Saturday at Lagos airport. The Mayor of Brazzaville, M. Lambert Galibali, carried in the games torch from the Congo People's Republic where the first All Africa Games were held in 1965.
M. Galibali handed the torch over to the Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson.
In a ceremony which included traditional dancers, the games torch was passed to a team of runners.
They carried it to Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos before it was carried the following day to the new games stadium in the suburbs.
The opening ceremonies at the stadium on Sunday lasted about seven hours. A capacity crowd of fifty thousand jammed the stands. The games, the biggest sporting event ever seen in Africa, last twelve days with athletes from thirty-nine countries taking part. It's costing Nigeria an estimated fifteen million pounds sterling to stage. General Yakubu Gowon, Nigerian Head of State, takes his place in the stadium for the ceremonies.
The parade of athletes ... and four thousand African sportsmen and women march past General Gowon at the Saluting point.
The actual competition started the following day. Africa's top athletes, led by Munich Olympic gold medallists John Akii-Bua of Uganda and Kipchoge Keino of Kenya, are trying to better records set on tracks throughout the world.
Included in the ceremonies was the handing over of the Games flag from the Congo to Nigeria. The flag was passed from the Mayor of Brazzaville to the Governor of Lagos State.
The climax of the ceremony was the official opening by General Gowon.
The games torch which had been waiting in the city of Lagos, was run once around the arena by Nigerian sprinter, Kola Abdulai, before being carried to the top of the stadium to light the flame which will burn throughout the games.