By Dare Esan:
Former national 100m king, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, former Commonwealth triple jump champion Tosin Oke and Cornel University, USA Engineering graduate Stephen Mozia top a 12-man list of athletes the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) unveiled on Monday to fly Nigeria's flag at the 16th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, USA later this month.
Also listed are Eroyan Orukpe who ran a sensational 44.95 seconds in the 400m at the All Africa Games last year; reigning Nigeria quartermile queen Patience Okon-George; former USA junior international, Regina George and American-turned Nigerian,Tameka Jameson.
Egwero who last competed indoors in 2013 qualified for this year's race on the strength of the 10.06 seconds he ran in the 100m outdoors last year. He has been listed to run in the 60m where he will hope to become the second Nigerian nay African man after Olusoji Fasuba to win an IAAF World Indoor 60m title.
The Delta state-born sprinter holds a 6.60 personal best set way back in 2010 and will be making a return to the champioships after making his debut at the 13th edition of the event in Doha in 2010 where he ran all the way to the semi-finals.
Also going to Portland on the strength of his outddor performance last year is triple jumper, Tosin Oke and he will be hoping to make his competitive debut this time after failing to start four years ago in Istanbul, Turkey at the championships' 14th edition. He holds a personla best of 16.89m set in 2010 and a season's best of 16.48m which is way off the 17.00m entry standard set by the IAAF.
Mozia on his part has been phenomenal this indoor season and qualified for the championships with his 21.11m national record-setting heave in Nashville,Tennessee,USA on January 30.
He will making his second consecutive appearance in the competition after flattering to deceive in his debut two years ago in Sopot, Poland where he failed to advance beyond the qualfying group.
Also making her second consecutive appearance is former Nigeria 400m queen, Regina George.
George, touted to be Falilat Ogunkoya's successor following her incredible performance at the IAAF World outdoor championships in Moscow in 2013, did not come out for the 400m semi-final in Poland two years ago despite running a then world leading 51.60 seconds in the first round. This happened as the AFN scandalously failed to get her a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) which allows an athlete to use an otherwise prohibited substance or method to treat a legitimate medical condition.
She will however be competing in the 4x400m relay while reigning national champion, Okon George, will run in both the open 400m and the 1600 relay.
USA based quartermiler Fasasi who beat the 46.70 seconds entry standard set by the IAAF will compete in both the open 400m and the relays.
THE FULL LIST
Adekunle Rilwan Fasasi-400m,4x400m
Oke Tosin-Triple Jump
Mozia Stephens-Shot Put
Patience Okon 400m,4x400m