The reigning National Recorder holder in the women’s 200m Favour Ofili will not be attending the 2022 Nigerian Athletics Championships which serves as the trials for the World Championships in July and Commonwealth Games in August.
It still remains unconfirmed why the 200m NCAA runner-up won’t be in Nigeria. In her absence the battle for supremacy will be between Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha who both clocked PBs of 10.99s and 10.97s at the NCAA Championships.
They both have scintillating times of 22.33s and 22.44s in the 200m respectively. So it’s going to be a strong contest between the duo!
We recall that Rosemary has run 10.8s twice this season, though wind-aided but she says she can replicate that in a legal condition and The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is a fast track for that to happen.
The men’s 100m is going to be a tough race as five athletes have run 10.0s this season with Udodi Onwuzurike having the fastest time of 10.03s, followed by Raymond Ekevwo (10.04s), Alaba Akintola (10.04s) Ashe Favour (10.04s) and Usheoritse Itsekiri (10.09s).
Others to watch out for in the men’s 100m include Godson Brume (10.12s), Seye Ogunlewe (10.20s), Sunday Akintan (10.23s), Mabilo Nicholas (10.24s).
Udodi Onwuzurike is the favourite in the 200m with a PB of 20.08s. The World Junior Champion will have Alaba Akintola (20.26s) to contend with while Chidi Okezie (20.80s), Fakorede Adekalu (20.87s), Gafar Audu (20.98s) will be in the mix.
The full lap event will witness a clash between Veteran, Patience Okon and Nse Imaobong. Nse is the only Nigerian quartermiler to have hit the qualification standard for the World Championship in Oregon.
The ladies will have NAIA Champion, Praise Idamadudu (52.27s), Knowledge Omovoh (52.45s) and Amarachi Obi (52.98s) to contend with.
Two other exciting events on the track to look out for is the men’s 400m and 800m. NCAA Semifinalist and National Leader, Dubem Amene will be making his debut at the Nigeria Championships this weekend after clocking 45.51s during the Quater-finals of the NCAA Championships. He will be going head-to-head with 2017 National Champion, Samson Nathaniel (46.05s), Nnamani Johnson (46.23s), 2019 National Champion, Ojeli Ifeanyi (46.23s), Sikiru Adeyemi (46.36s). Not leaving out 2021 National Champion, Chidi Okezie who hasn’t really competed over the 400m this season.
Edidiong Udo (1:52.29s), Hamid Sambo (1:52.91s), Sodiq Adebisi (1:53.31s) will look forward to going faster than their current Season’s Best in other to upset National Record holder, Edose Ibadin who has a SB of 1:46s.
In the field event, top names to watch out for include Chukwuebuka Enekwechi in the Shot Put, Sade Olatoye in the Hammer, Princess Kara and Esther Osisike in the Discuss while Nnamdi Chinecherem in the men’s Javelin Event.
African U20 Champion, Onaara Obamuwagun will go head to head with National Record holder, Ruth Usoro in the Women’s Triple Jump while we will be looking forward to be entertained by Ese Brume in the Long Jump:
Tobechukwu Nwokocha will be hoping to retain his Long Jump title but he will have to battle with Edafiadhe Joseph who has a Season’s best of 7.77m which makes him the favourite on paper heading into this championships.
The Nigerian officials are more concerned about the Relay events which comes up on Day 1 and as at the time of filing, Ghana and Benin Republic have arrived the ancient Benin city for the Championship.
All the best to the athletes!