‘Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship will produce more stars for Nigeria’
400 stars expected in Ozoro for 2019 edition
Organisers of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae U-15/Open Athletics Championship are looking forward to an elaborate event this year, with over 400 young athletes from 25 local government areas of Delta State expected to storm Ozoro in the Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State next week.
Arrival date for the seventh edition of the championship is June 18, while competition will hold on June 19 and 20.
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.
Immediate past president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba yesterday said, “We are trying to put together one of the best age-grade athletics competitions for our youths to sharpen their skills and also prepare for the challenges ahead.”
The secretary of Delta State Athletics Association, Emuobo Egalasi added that everything needed to make the event successful 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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