The track and field competition of the ongoing 11th All-Africa Games will be held
from Sunday September 13 to Saturday September 19 2015 at the New Kintele Stadium in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo.
Nigeria will be led by double Commonwealth sprint champion,Blessing Okagbare who will be making her third appearance at the Games.
Today Completesportsnigeria.com's DARE ESAN brings you a lowdown on each of the athletes selected by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria viz-z-viz their All Africa Games record of performance (s).
Blessing Okagbare 100m,200m,4x100m):
Okagbare will be making her third appearance at the games in Congo.She made her debut eight years ago (2007) in Algiers as a starry-eyed teenager, winning silver in the long jump (6.46m) behind South Africa's Janice Josephs (6.79m).She was fourth in the triple jump (13.77m),an event she was expected to make the podium following her incredible 14.13m national record-setting jump at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos barely two months (9 May,2007) before the event in Algiers.
In Maputo in 2011,she participated in her first sprint event but could not surge past
Damola Osayomi in the final of the 100m thereby settling for the silver medal in 11.01 seconds.Osayomi who a few weeks earlier lost for the second consecutive final to the then new kid on the block at the National Trials in Calabar extracted her pound of flesh in Maputo running a wind-aided 10.90 seconds to successfully defend the title she first won in 2007.
Okagbare however won her first of two gold medals in Maputo in the 4x100m relay where she anchored the trio of Gloria Asumnu, Agnes Osazuwa and Damola Osayomi to gold in 43.34 seconds.The next day she made it to the podium again,this time in the long jump with a wind-aided leap of 6.50m in the fourth round.
A member of Nigeria's 400M relay team that failed to advance to the final at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing,Odeyemi will be making her debut in Congo.
Cecilia Francis (100m,4x100m):
Like Odeyemi,Lagos-girl,Francis will also be making her All Africa Games dbut in Congo.She was also in Beijing where she anchored the 4x100m team to their trip back to Nigeria instead of the final.
Ngozi Onwumere (200m,4x100m):
Onwumere will be amking her All Africa Games debut in Congo
Lawreta Ozoh (4x100m):
Banned for drugs in 2012 at the African Championships in Port Novo,Benin Republic,Ozoh has struggled for form ever since and will be amking her All Africa Games debut in Congo.
Regina Nneka George (200m,4x400m):
The second fastest Nigerian in the half lap (23.22 seconds) this year behind Blessing Okagbare (22.67),George will be making her African Games debut in Congo.
Patience Okon George (400m,4x400m):
Reigning Nigerian queen of the quartermile,Okon-George will be making her debut in Congo and looks a cast-iron certainty to become the fourth Nigeria after Kehinde Vaughan (1978),Fatimah Yusuf (1991 & 1995) and Falilat Ogunkoya (1999) to win the 400m title.
Adeloye Oluwatosin (400m,4x400m):
It will be a case of two debut appearances for the Ekiti-born Adeloye who,last month ran in her first ever IAAF Worlds in Beijing.she is primed for her debut at the African Games in Congo.
Etim Margaret (400m,4x400m):
Etim will be making her second All Africa Games appearance in Congo.She made her debut four years ago in Maputo,Mozambique where she was one of the three Nigerians (Bukola Abogunloko,Omolara Omotosho) who made it to the final. Interestingly the three Nigerians finished in the last three positions with Etim placing seventh (53.15) behind Abogunloko(53.08) while recently-wedded Omotosho came
in last (53.19).
Lindsay Weyinmi Lindley (100m hurdles):
'Jesus loving hurdler,Lindsay,curiously given a Nigerian name (Weyinmi) when,by her own account she has no biological link with Nigeria will be making her debut at the games just like she did last year in Marrakech at the African Championships and last month in Beijing at the IAAF Worlds.
Amusan Oluwatobiloba (100m hurdles):
A bonafide,born and bread in Nigeria girl,Amusan will also be making her African Game debut in Congo.
Amaka Ogoegbunam (400m hurdles):
Ogoegbunam will be making her debut at the games after a four-year doping ban made her unavailable for selection four years ago in Maputo.
Ajoke Odumosu (400m hurdles):
Thought to be out of the games in Congo,Odumosu, once nicknamed an 'awful runner' in her days at the University of Lagos called Complete Sports she would be in Congo for her third apperanace at the games.She made her debut in 2007 in Algiers where she ran 55.80 seconds to win the bronze medal in the quartermile barrier run.Four years later,precisely at the 10th edition of the games in Maputo she transformed from bronze to gold,running 56.26 seconds to out-hurdle South Africa's Wenda Theron, the fastest African in the event this year at 54.37 seconds to the gold medal. Odumosu was also a member of the gold-winning 4x400m relay team.
Chinazom Amadi (Long Jump):
Amadi is making a return to the games after making her debut eight years ago in Algiers.She jumpd all the way to the final in her debut,placing fourth with her leap of 6.33m.
Ese Brume (Long Jump):
Reigning Commonwealth Games queen,Brume,a University of Benin undergraduate student will be amking her debut at the games,a little over a year after she made a gold-winning debut at the African Athletics Chmpionships in Marrakech,Morocco.
Ibrahim Blessing Ibukun (Triple Jump):
Ibrahim is making a quaick return to the games after making her debut four years ago in Maputo where she hopped,stepped and jumped into fifth position with her 13.13m fourth round effort.She holds a 13.41m personal season's best.
Hope Idhe (Triple Jump):
Idhe will be hoping to making it a successful debut in Congo. She holds a 13.40m personal season's best,one centimetre behind national leader,Ibrahim Ibukun.
Claire Uke (Shot Put & Discus):
Still listed as an American citizen on the IAAF top list of performres for 2015,Uke will be making her debut for Nigeria for the first time. She holds a personal season's best of 17.95m in the Shot Put (indoors), the best by an African this season.
Ogunleye Precious (Shot Put,Discus):
Another USA-based athlete,Precious will also be making her debut for Nigeria at the games in Congo.
Rebecca Famurewa (Discus & Hammer):
Famurewa will also be making her All Africa Game debut in Congo.
Nwanaga Kelechi (Shot Put):
USA-based Nwanaga will also be making her debut for Nigeria in Congo.She holds a personal season's best of 17.22m,the best by a Nigerian outdoors and 17.32m,the second best by a Nigerian indoors.
Uhunoma Naomi Osazuwa (Heptathlon):
Beijing IAAF Worlds finalist,Uhunoma will be making her second All Africa Games appearance in Congo.She made her first appearance four years ago in Maputo where she had a nightmare debut.She competed in only one of seven events,the 100m hurdles where she ran 14.45 seconds.She failed to start in the remaining six.
Moe Sasegbon (Heptathlon):
British girl,Moe will be making her first competitive debut for Nigeria in Congo.A Physiotherapy graduate at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom, Moe is still listed as a Briton on the IAAF website but has been reportedly cleared to compete for her parents' country,Nigeria.She holds a personal best of 5353 points whch she achieved on July 31 in Warri at the All Nigeria Track and Field Open Championships.
Francis Ruth Oluwakemi (Heptathlon):
Francis will be making her All Africa Games debut in Congo.
Oguh Faustina (20km Walk):
A Nigerian will among the few athletes,mostly from North and South Africa who will participate in this event.This will be the second time Nigeria will be participating in the event since the it was listed among the events to be competed for at the All Africa Games in Abuja in 2003. The duo of Queensly Asedo and Kafayat Bubalola flew Nigeria's flag eight years ago in Algiers.
Doreen Amata (High Jump):
Two-time IAAF high jump finalist,Amata will be hoping for a historic third appearance at the games after soaring to gold in her debut in 2007 and repeating as champions four years later in Maputo in 2011.She cleared 1.89m,a new national record on first attempt to beat South Africa's Anika Smith to the gold on count-back after the South African could only clear the same height on her second attempt.It a repeat of the Algiers scenario in Maputo four years later but it was a battle between two Nigerians in the event.Amata cleared 1.80m on first attempt to win the gold ahead of Uhunoma Osazuwa who managed to clear the same height after the second attempt.
Abike Egbeniyi (800m):
Egbeniyi will making her All Africa Games debut for Nigeria in Congo and she will be the first Nigerian after Grace Ebor won the gold in 2003 to compete in th event.The first Nigerian to compete in the event was Rosaling Joshua who won a silver medal at the second edition of the Games in 1973 in Lagos.
Seye Ogunlewe (100m,4x100m):
Reigning Nigeria 100m king,Ogunlewe will be making his All Africa Games debut in Congo.
Ogho-Oghene Egwero (100m,4x100m):
Ogho,as he is fondly called will be amking his second apperance at the games four years after making his debut.He ran all the way to the 100m final,placing fourth (10.31) in a race Egypt's Amr Ibrahim Mostafa Seoud (10.20) and Cote D'Ivoire's Ben Youssef Meité (10.28) picked the gold and the silver respectively while Nigeria's Obinna Metu won the bronze medal (10.29).He was also a member of the 4x100m relay team that ran 38.93 seconds to win the gold.
Imhoaperamhe Nicholas (100m,4x100m):
Nicholas will be making his All Africa Games debut in Congo.
Obinna Metu (200m,4x100m):
Veteran Metu will be making his third trip to the games after his debut in Algiers eight years ago where he ran 20.94 seconds to win a 200m bronze.
He won another bronze,this time in the 100m four years later in Maputo.He was also a member of the quartet that won gold in the 4x100m relay.
Odele Tega Peter (200m,4x100m):
New Nigeria 200m sensation,Odele will be hoping to become the first Nigerian to break 20 seconds at the Games after racing to an incredible–by Nigerian standard though–20.47 seconds to win his first national title in Warri last July.He will be making his debut at the games.
Divine Oduduru (200m,4x100m):
Divine,as he is called in the athletics circle has failed to fulfil his huge potentials after he ran 20.66 in Eugene,Oregon,USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships.He is going to Congo as a first timer.
Nathaniel Samson Oghenewegba (400m,4x400m):
Oghenewegba is also going to Congo to make his All Africa Games debut.
Orukpe Erayokan (400m,4x400m):
Like Oghenewegba,Erayokan is also going to Congo to make his All Africa Games debut.
Robert Simmons (400m,4x400m):
One of the Americans who switched allegiance to Nigeria,Simmons will be competing at the African Games for the first time in Congo.
Tyron Akins (100m hurdles):
One of the many Americans imported by the Solomon Ogba-led Athletic Federation of Nigeria to compete for Nigeria,Akins will be making his debut at the games.
Alex Al-ameen (100m hurdles):
A full blooded Nigerian,Alex switched allegiance from Britain to Nigeria last year and will be making his first appearance at the All Africa Games.
Samson Idiata (Long Jump):
Former high jumper,Idiata will be making his second trip to the games.He competed in the high jump in his debut in 2007,clearing a height of 2.10m to place 10th.He will be competing in the long jump this time in Congo.
Ezekiel Ewulo (Long Jump):
Ewulo will be making his debut for Nigeria at the All Africa Games following his switch of allegiance from Britain to Nigeria.He was cleared to compete for Nigeria by the IAAF from May 5,2015.
Olumide Olamigoke (Triple Jump):
Lagos-born Olamigoke will be making his All Africa Games debut in Congo where he will resume the rivalry he is building up with reigning Nigeria champion,Tosin Oke.
Tosin Oke (Triple Jump):
Former British international,Oke is making a successive return trip to the games.He won the gold medal on his debut four years ago in Maputo in a dramatic fashion.He was second behind Algeria's Issam Nima who jumped 16.54m in the third round to take over the lead from the Nigerian whose 16.30m second round jump had put him in first position.With the gold medal gradually slipping away,Oke,who a year earlier was crowned Commonwealth champion in India hopped,stepped and jumped 16.65m in his sixth and final jump to snatch the gold medal.
Peter Moreno (Decathlon):
Moreno will be going to Congo for the experience.The 11th All Africa Games will be his first major competition
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