For­eign-based ath­letes ar­rive for All-Nige­ria Cham­pi­onships

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

No fewer than 50 for­eign­based ath­letes, mostly from Europe and the United States of Amer­ica have ar­rived the coun­try ahead of this week’s All-Nige­ria Cham­pi­onships billed for Sapele, Delta State.

This year’s All-Nige­ria Cham­pi­onships which will serve as the Olympic tri­als to se­lect the ath­letes to rep­re­sent Nige­ria in Rio is ex­pected to be keenly-con­tested as ath­letes across the world have paid their way through to get a chance to fight for places in the com­pact squad being planned by the Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion of Nige­ria (AFN).

“The ath­letes have started ar­riv­ing to show the zeal they have to rep­re­sent this coun­try, over 50 of them paid for their flight tick­ets to be part of this year’s All-Nige­ria Cham­pi­onships,” AFN Head of Me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Olukay­ode Thomas said yes­ter­day.

Thomas fur­ther con­firmed that the cream of Nige­rian ath­let­ics will be present in Sapele in­clud­ing Queen of tracks and one of Nige­ria’s medal hope­ful in Rio, Bless­ing Ok­ag­bare as well as the likes of Glo­ria Asumnu, Seye Ogun­lewe among oth­ers

As ear­lier an­nounced, the Al­lNige­ria Cham­pi­onships will hold on Thurs­day and Fri­day July 7-8 at the Sapele Town­ship sta­dium while it will be closely fol­lowed by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Africa Ath­let­ics (CAA) Grand Prix, Warri Re­lays on Saturday July 9 at the same venue.

Al­ready the Re­lay teams from South Africa, Botswana, Ghana and other parts of the world have sig­ni­fied their in­ter­est to be part of the Warri Re­lays.

The AFN Pres­i­dent, Chief Solomon Ogba in a re­cent chat with jour­nal­ists said among other things the Warri Re­lays is tar­geted at put­ting the Nige­ria re­lay team in good stead for a good show at the Rio Olympics.

“We are doing the re­lays be­cause we have com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage there to strive for medals. We are one of the very few coun­tries that can boast of at least six av­er­age ath­letes in the short sprints, we must not lose sight of that ad­van­tage. The AFN boss sub­mit­ted.

It is on record that most of Nige­ria’s medals at the Olympics have come from re­lay races and the coun­try is hop­ing to ex­plore the chance max­i­mally in Rio.

Nige­ria’s Glo­ria Asumnu com­petes with Fraser-Pryce of Ja­maica dur­ing Day 3 of the 14th IAAF World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Moscow

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