Lagos – The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) says it will participate in the walk event at the forthcoming African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC).
The competition is scheduled for April 23 to April 26 in Mauritius.
The Technical Director of the AFN, Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
According to him, the inclusion of the event is to showcase talents that abound in Nigeria.
He said the participation was part of the federation’s strategy to venture into other sporting areas.
“We entered for race walk because of my strategy that we must start venturing away from our traditional areas as others have been making incursions into our traditional areas of strength.
“We experimented it at the last African Junior Championships in the heptathlon women and pole-vault men and it paid off well.
“We won the heptathlon and got silver in pole-vault.
“We believe we can win the race walk in AYAC. If you will recall, we got a bronze at the last edition held in Warri.”
Nesiama said that Nigeria would feature 27 athletes, comprising 15 males and 12 females.
According to him, in the 100m girls event are Aniekeme Alphonsus and Omotayo Abolaji while the boys are Idjesa Uruemu and Tobechi Nwokocha.
“The 200m girls are Praise Idamadudu and Aniekeme Alphonsus, while the boys are Itsekiri Usheoritse and ThankGod Igube.
“The girls in the 400m are Praise Idamadudu and Blessing Adiakerehwa, the 400m boys are Sikiru Adewale and Afeez Abdulramon.
“The girls for the 100m hurdles are Nneka Akunna and Mary Okorhi, while the 110m hurdles boys are Omon Ojeikere and Kingsley Ayebide.
“Chidi Okeke will compete in the 800m boys,’’ he said.
The technical director said also that in the 400m hurdles girls are, Fegor Clifford and Joy Abu, the boys are Prior Ochonogor and Airen Williams.
He said that the girls for the long jump are Peace Nwaelehia and Oghenekome Okolosi, while the boys are Tobechi Nwokocha and Nzube Ihezue.
“Uche Brown is for the triple jump girls, while Nzube Ihezue and Emmanuel Effiom are for the triple jump boys.
“Fadekemi Olude is the only athlete for the race walk Girls, while Ezekiel Nyong was for the Javelin Boys.
“Kingsley Ayebide will compete in the High Jump Boys and Decathlon event of the competition.
“The coaches are Saheed Akinpelu, a middle distance specialist, Emily Osakwe, who specialises in horizontal jumps and Abiodun Johnson, a long sprint coach.
“Endurance Ojokolo, a specialist in short sprints, while others are China Osuagwu, a hurdles coach, Oluwole Odunuga, a specialist in the Race walk.
“Olalekan Soetan, a vertical Jumps coach and George Obiano also a specialist in Horizontal Jumps,’’ he said.
Nesiama, however, said that due to the fact that most of the athletes were still schooling, training would continue in locations closest to them.
“Due to the fact that most of the athletes selected are in school, the technical committee hereby directs that athletes would continue training at their locations.
“April 20 will be the date that they will be called to assemble for the trip to Mauritius,” he said. (NAN)