Team Nigeria and eight other countries will today, in Lome, Togo, battle for relay tickets to the 2023 World Championships holding in Budapest, Hungary, in August. All nine countries arrived in Lome, the Togolese capital, yesterday to compete in the African Region 2 relay events.
After the completion of some major events at the National Trials at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City on Thursday, the Nigerian team left for Lagos enroute Togo for the relay events.
Nigeria has secured relay tickets in the women’s 4x100m as well as the mixed relay, but the men’s 4×100 and 4×400 teams are yet to earn their slots, same with the women 4×400 team.
On the trip to Togo are U.S.-based World number two 200m runner at the moment, Udodi Onwuzurike, who joined the team from Lagos. Udodi and his father had landed in Lagos in the early hours of Wednesday, but were told by the AFN to wait for the team in Lagos instead of coming to Benin City.
Other athletes in the team are U.S.-based Nwachukwu Dubem, who has the best record of 44.81 seconds in the 400m at the moment.
New national champion in the 100m, Usheoritse Itsekiri, leads the 4x100m relay squad, which has Seye Ogunlewe, Alaba Akintola and Favour Ashe.
In the women’s 4x400m team are, Yvette Mckoy, veteran Patience Okon, Imaobong Nse Uko, Queen Usunobun, Omolara Omotosho and Ella Onojuvwevwo, just as home-boy, Samuel Ogazi, is listed in the men’s 400m team alongside Sani Mohammed, Johnson Chidera Nnamani, Chidi Okezie and Ezekiel Nathaniel.
AFN technical director, Samuel Onikeku, Benjamin Dalton, Solomon Aliyu, Gabriel Okon and head coach, Seigha Porbeni, completes the list of the coaches that departed Benin City at about 2.00 p.m. Thursday for Togo.
AFN President, Tonobok Okowa told The Guardian in a telephone chat on arrival in Togo, yesterday, that he is confident of the team securing the relay tickets.