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Coach Onikeku dropped, as Nigeria’s track and field stars depart for Tokyo

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President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa

Nigeria’s track and field stars will today depart Abuja for the Tokyo Olympics, but coach Samuel Onikeku has been dropped from the trip. Nine coaches, including five from Nigeria and four personal coaches of some of the top athletes, will make the trip to Tokyo.

President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, told The Guardian yesterday that the team would depart this morning. The Secretary-General of AFN, Adisa Beyioku, will lead the track and field contingent.

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“The AFN Secretary-General will travel with the athletes tomorrow (today). I will join them at the Olympics,” Okowa stated.

The Tokyo Olympics Games will begin on July 23, but athletics events will begin from July 29. While Blessing Okagbare, Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma will feature in the women’s 100m, Okagbare, Nwokocha and Favour Ofili will take part in the women’s 200m at the Olympics.

Tobi Amusan will compete in the women’s 100m hurdles, while Ese Brume is Team Nigeria’s hope in the long jump. Ruth Usoro will compete in the triple jump.

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Annette Echiwunke will take part in the hammer event, while Chioma Onyekwere will compete in the discus event. Patience Okon-George is Nigeria’s contender in the women’s 400m.

The women’s 4x100m relay team has Okagbare, Nwokocha, Chukwuma, Knowledge Omovoh and Ofili.

The men’s team will have Divine Oduduru, Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri in the 100m, while Oduduru is the sole athlete in the 200m.

Chukwuebuka Enekweshi will feature in the discus event, while the mixed 4x400m team has Chidi Okezie, Samson Nathaniel, Ifeanyi Ojeli, Okon-George, Omovoh, Imaobong Nse-Oko, Glory Okon and Yinka Ajayi.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that the coaches for the trip are Rotimi Obajimi, Kayode Yaya, Gabriel Okon, Opuana Gabriel and George Obiano.

The personal coaches to join the team in camp are Golding Clarke attached to Amusan, Ayokunle Odelusi (Adegoke), Rana Reider (Okagbare) and Collin Tuner (Oduduru).

It was further learnt yesterday that the Director of World Athletics/CAA High-Performance Centre in Port Harcourt, Professor Ken Anugweje, is also among AFN officials for the Tokyo Olympics.

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