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Athletes display skills as Chioma Ajunwa Olympics talent hunt begins

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• 150 stars for inaugural AFN/MoC Invitational
The Chioma Ajunwa Foundation Olympics talent hunt began yesterday in Lagos with young athletes demonstrating that Nigeria is not in short supply of track and field talents.

Six schools are participating in the event holding at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

Yesterday, the young school girls showcased their skills in 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump and short put with 16-year-old Alimat Alowonle emerging overall best athlete. She won the 100m with 11.99 seconds, 200m and long jump 5.25m.

Another athlete, Oluwafeyisola Mohammed, who turns 14 years today, won the 400m with 61.00 seconds.

The event continues today with football contest between the participating schools.

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Meanwhile, within 24 hours of opening registration for the event, over 150 athletes, including some of Nigeria’s top stars and several from across Africa, have registered for the inaugural AFN/MoC Invitational billed to hold at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.

Making of Champions (MoC) on Saturday announced the first ever AFN/MoC Invitational, which is being organised to provide athletes across Nigeria and Africa hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, African Championships and World U-20 Championships with the opportunity to compete and hit the various qualification standards.

MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani said: “Even though some of Nigeria’s top athletes are currently on a training and competition tour in the U.S, there are many other athletes in Nigeria, who are still in contention to break into the Olympics team, and we felt it necessary to ensure that they did not remain idle in May ahead of the National Trials for the Olympics in June.

“Thankfully, the AFN shared this view to maximize the Olympic qualification opportunities for its athletes and have thrown their full weight behind the event – we would like to thank them for once again making our continued AFN/MoC partnership for yet another Olympic qualifying competition a reality.”

Some of the top athletes that have registered for the competition are Praise Ofoku, Olayinka Olajide and MoC’s Moyosore Badejo in the women’s 100m/200m, Nicholas Fakorede, Efe-Sam Agalive and MoC’s duo of Gafaru Audu and Gracious Ushie in the men’s 100m/200m, Afeez Abdulrahman in the men’s 400m, Blessing Ovwighoadjebre and MoC’s duo of Blessing Oladoye and Mercy Umoibang in the women’s 400m.

In Hurdles, Martins Oghierakhi and Samuel Osadolor have registered for the men’s 110m category, Ese Awusa, Adaeze Nwokike and Comfort Ekanem in the women’s 100m hurdles and/or 400m hurdles, with Prior Ochonogor and Gbenga Bakare in the men’s 400m Hurdles.

In field events, David Aya will feature in the men’s high jump, Ruth Agadama in the women’s long jump (and 100m), Zola Nzube in the men’s triple jump and Utitofon James in the women’s discus.

As the BetKing/3rd MoC Grand Prix in March, the AFN/MoC Invitational is already attracting interest of athletes from across Africa, with registrations already coming in from as far away as Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.

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