Nigeria’s track, field athletes to jostle for Africa Games slot

NIGERIA’S track and field athletes will compete against each other in trials at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in a bid to grab the ticket for the Africa Games scheduled for Accra, Ghana, between March 8 and 23.

The national trials being organised by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in collaboration with Making of Champions (MoC), will be held from February 17 to 20.

The country’s trio of sprinters, Tima Godbless, Favour Ofili, and Rosemary Chukwuma, will battle for the 100m title in the women’s event.

The 4x100m relay team will see youngsters such as Faith Okwose and Tiana Eyakpobeyan contest to secure their first senior national call-up.

It is going to be survival of the fittest in the men’s 400m event as Dubem Nwachukwu, who was exceptional at the 2023 National Collegiate Athlete Association (NCAA), will make a mark this time around.

Other contenders expected to give a fight at the trials include new sensation Samuel Ogazi, who ran sub-46 seconds at AFN Golden League in Abuja last year.

In the field events, all eyes will be on Ese Brume and Ruth Usoro in the Long Jump.

The contest between them will be one of the major highlights as the world silver medallist, Brume, will have to battle with Usoro, who is also at her best this season.

Usoro soared to the fifth-best jump in the world in Bermuda last year, while Brume has continued to improve this year.

In the women’s Discus throw, any of the defending champions, Chioma Onyekwere, NCAA silver medallist Ashley Anumba, and National Sports Festival champion Obiageri Amaechi, can be crowned the winner in Asaba.

Onyekwere is the defending champion in the women’s Discus event.

In the men’s javelin throw, United States-based Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Nnamdi Chinecherem (if present) may be unchallenged for the title in their events.






     

     

    There are also new stars to watch out for at the Asaba national trials.

    United States-based high jumper Temitope Adeshina, who shattered the national high jump record held by Doreen Amata since 2016, will storm for the trials.

    Adeshina, who made her second appearance in competitive meets in the USA, cleared the height of 1.96m to erase Amata’s 1.93m indoor and 1.95 outdoor records at the Corky Classic in Texas. The 1.96m is just a fraction below the Olympic qualification standard.

    Another newcomer, Consider Ekanem, will attract attention in Asaba. The World Athletics acknowledged Ekanem’s 100m performance of 10.10 seconds as the the fastest time in the world this season.

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