26th June 2014 Africa’s attention is solidly on the World Cup, but there are some other athletic activities that we just have to keep you informed of. The All Nigeria Athletics Championship has just concluded in Calabar. This is the fourth year of the partnership between Cross River State and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria for the staging of the Championship. Based on performances at the Championship, the Athletic Federation of Nigeria has put together the names of athletes who will be heading to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Africa Championships in Marrakesh.
Some of the names are very familiar. Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria’s foremost sprinter picked up her 6th successive gold medal for the 200 metres in Calabar. She will be entered for 100m, 200m and 4×100m relays in both Glasgow and at the Africa Championships.
There are some newer names on the list such as Stephen Mozia, who won his first All Nigeria gold medal in the men’s shot put in Calabar. He will participate in both the shot put and discuss events.
This year’s All Nigeria Athletic Championships featured an unprecedented number of foreign based athletes and it is from this number that American-born Mark Jerks, winner of the men’s 100m event in Calabar is picked. He will make his first international appearance for Team Nigeria in Scotland and has asked Nigeria to look forward to medals.
Altogether, 37 athletes will be representing Nigeria at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG) billed for Glasgow, Scotland and with some record breaking times recorded at the Championships in Calabar, it is safe to say that we have a lot to look forward to when Team Nigeria heads to Glasgow in August.