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AFN technical officials storm Delta for Awoture Eleyae’s U-15/Open championship

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Athletes competing for honour at a recent championship in Abuja. The Dr. Awoture Eleyae’s U-15/Open championship will now hold between June 20 and 22 in Ozoro, Delta State


• Over 700 athletes have registered, says Porbeni

Techinical officials from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) are expected to storm Ozoro, venue of the 2019 Dr. Awoture Eleyae’s U-15/Open championship tomorrow ahead of the event scheduled for June 20 and 22.

The chairman of the Technical committee of the championship, Seigha Porbeni told The Guardian yesterday that over 700 athletes have registered for the junior and senior categories of the championship.This year’s edition of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae’s U-15/Open championship, which is seventh in the series, will serve as selection of senior athletes that will represent Delta State at the National trial for the African Games.

According to Porbeni, the National Association of Technical Officials (NATO), in conjunction with Delta State Athletics Association, will supervise the competition.The junior athletes are drawn from the 25 local government areas of Delta State.

The Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship has produced notable athletes for Nigeria since its inception, including Commonwealth gold medalist in the long jump, Ese Brume in 2013, sprinter Divine Oduduru in 2014 and quartermiler, Praise Idamadudu in 2015. Oduduru made history recently by winning his first NCAA 100m title, clocking 9.86 seconds to become second African runner to achieve this feat. His 9.86 second was the second-fastest time in NCAA history.

Other athletes who are products of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championships includes Usheoritse Itsekiri, who just secured qualification for Doha 2019 World Championship, blazing to a Personal Best of 10.07 seconds to win the men’s 100m at the 55th International Whitsum Festival in Rehilingen, as well as Raymond Ekevwo, who broke his Personal Best record in the 100m with a big Lifetime Best of 10.02s to finish second in the men’s 100m final at the 2019 South Eastern Conference (SEC) Championships in USA on May 11.

Ekevwo is among the three Nigerian male sprinters alongside Oduduru and Itsekiri to qualify for the World Championships in Doha.Former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba revealed yesterday that everything needed to make the Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championships a huge success had been put in place.

The competition is in honour of Dr. Eleyae, a former secretary general of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa, for his contributions to the nation’s athletics. Eleyae is called the doyen of Nigerian sports for his production of various stars, including Sam Igun, David Ejoke, A.K Amun, Emilia Edet, Violet Odogwu-Nwajei and the high-flying Modupe Oshikoya.

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