The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba, has predicted that the Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships will produce future world champions in athletics just like the 2013 African Junior Athletics Championships in Warri produced Divine Oduduru, Ese Brume, Tobiloba Amusan, who started competing on the world stage shortly after the championships.
Ogba who was in a delegation of Confederation of Africa Athletics led by its President, Hammed Kalkaba, to meet the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday said part of the build-up activities to the championships would include junior competitions across the nook and crannies of the country to discover budding talents that would participate in invitational relays and other events.
“Before the African Youth Championships in Warri, I assured Nigerians that the championships would lead to discovery of new stars and it came to pass,” he said.
“One of the athletes discovered is Brume who won three medals at the championships, set a new African junior record in long jump, won the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, represented Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games where she placed 5th in the long jump final with a leap of 6.81m, she has a personal best of 6.83 m in the event.”
Ogba also recalled that Oduduru who won the sprint double at Warri 2013 and also won the African Junior Championships five times, was a silver medalist at the 2014 World Junior and also silver medalist at the 2015 All-Africa Games in Brazzaville. Amusan has been the best Nigeria athlete this year making waves in his school, University of Texas El Paso, and was also at the Olympic Games in 2016 where she got to the final.
Ogba who alongside the Chairman of Delta Sports Commission Tony Okowa and Kalkaba inspected the Asaba City Stadium venue of the championships re-echoed the promise of Okowa that the stadium would be completed before December 2017.