Below standard performances put up by Nigerian athletes at Friday’s Warri grandprix and CAA relays left Athletics Federation of Nigeria officials wondering, if these athletes can rise to the occasion at the forth coming World Championships billed for August 22-30 in Beijing, China.
None of the performances met the A standard of the World Championships and according to the AFN technical director, Omatseye Nesiama it was a worrisome development, but was hopeful that a number of the athletes will hit form during the All Nigeria Championships, which will hold July 29-31 at the Warri Township Stadium.
“The performances weren’t impressive when the world championships is taken into account. I am particularly worried about our men relay teams. They haven’t even hit the standard and so, if after the trials they are yet to hit form they might not be going to the world championships,” said Navy Commodore Nesiama.
In the men’s 100m Ogho-Oghene Egwero clocked 10.23 seconds, while Jonathan Nmaju and Obinna Metu finished at 10.34 and 10.37 seconds respectively. Gloria Asumnu won the women A race with 11.60 seconds. She was chased down by Ghana’s Flings Owusu-Agydmpong of Ghana who finished 11.61 and Ezeala Nkem who ran 11. 71.
In the men’s 400m Ghana’s Emmanuel Dasor won the A race with 46.14 seconds. While Nathaniel Sampson of the Nigerian Customs won the B race with 46.27. Orukpe Eriyokan also of the Customs was third with 46.52 seconds.
Patience Okon-George ran a slow 51.78 seconds in the women 400m. Oluwatosin Adeloye was second with 51.92 and Rita Ossai placed third with 53.09 seconds.
“I wanted to take it slow and not burn out before the trials. Hopefully, I will try harder with a stiffer competition next week.”