Athletics

Solomon Ogba expects stiff test at AFN trials

Chairman of the organising committee for the 2022 Nigerian athletics championship, Chief Solomon Ogba said the event will be staged to match the rising profile of track and field in Nigeria.

Chairman of the organising committee for the 2022 Nigerian athletics championship, Chief Solomon Ogba said the event will be staged to match the rising profile of track and field in Nigeria.

A number of Nigerian athletes have recently attained world class status and Ogba is confident the glory days are back for the sport.

“We want to organise a championship befitting our rising profile because I cannot remember the last time we produced three women who have gone inside 11 seconds in the 100m in one year or produce athletes that will break records as old as the athletes themselves,” Ogba, a two-time president of the AFN, said.

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Interestingly, the trio of Favour Ofili (10.93), Rosemary Chukwuma (10.99) and Grace Nwokocha (10.97) have all ran sub-11 seconds this year while as many as five men including Udodi Onwuzurike (10.03), Raymond Ekevwo (10.04), Favour Ashe (10.04), Alaba Akintola (10.04) and Ushoritse Itshekiri (10.09) have gone under 10.10 seconds.

Meanwhile, Ogba said the AFN president Tonobock Okowa has charged him and members of the committee to organise a championship that takes into account the country’s rising status in international athletics.

“Everything is set for the championship,” he assured.“ The best of Nigerian track and field stars will be here.

“ Remember this will serve as selection trials for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, USA.

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The championship will hold between June 21 and June 23 in Benin City, the capital of Edo State and Ogba said the choice was strategic: “We have a good, world class track at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium which hosted the athletics event of last years’ Edo 2020 National Sports Festival .”

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