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Alli’s selection as Team Nigeria Commonwealth Games coordinator thrills Okpekpe race organiser

By Guardian Nigeria
14 April 2022   |   7:49 pm
Organiser of the historic Okpekpe international 10km road race, Mike Itemuagbor, has hailed the appointment of legendary long jumper Yusuf Alli as Team Nigeria coordinator for the 2022 Commonwealth Games which holds this August in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Alli, a former Africa, Commonwealth and World University Games champion and two-time World Athletics Championship and one-time…

Nigeria and Africa long jump legend, Yusuf Alli.

Organiser of the historic Okpekpe international 10km road race, Mike Itemuagbor, has hailed the appointment of legendary long jumper Yusuf Alli as Team Nigeria coordinator for the 2022 Commonwealth Games which holds this August in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Alli, a former Africa, Commonwealth and World University Games champion and two-time World Athletics Championship and one-time Olympic Games long jump finalist, was named as Team Nigeria coordinator by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development early this week.

“This is a classic case of a square peg in a square hole and I want to first congratulate the Sports Minister (Sunday Dare) for making such a fitting appointment,” said Itemuagbor.

“Yusuf has proved his mettle as an athlete, winning continental, Commonwealth and global medals for Nigeria. He has also proved to be an astute sports administrator and this he has proved by helping to make the Okpekpe 10km road race the first to be granted a World Athletics label. He is also behind the Lagos City Marathon’s achievement as the second road race in Nigeria to get a label rating,” added Itemuagbor who is convinced Alli is destined for greater things.

“Yusuf has proven to be the best amongst his colleagues and I was not surprised when he was named Edo State Sports Commission chairman. His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, could not have made a better man for the job.”

Itemuagbor is convinced both Edo state and Nigeria will benefit immensely from Alli’s technical and administrative know-how.

Alli has been the technical director and consultant for the Okpekpe 10km road race since inception in 2013.

The 61-year-old holds a personal best of 8.27m in the long jump set on his way to winning the African Athletics Championship gold medal at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in August 1989.

That mark is the farthest any Nigerian man, dead or living has jumped. He also holds an 8.15m best in the event indoors.