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Five athletes to go, as AFN picks Ethiopia-bound squad Thursday


NOT less than five athletes are expected to drop out from Team Nigeria’s camp in Shagamu, Ogun State this afternoon, as the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) conducts its final trial for athletes, who will compete in this year’s African Junior Athletics Championship in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from March 3 to 7. Nigeria is the defending champion.

  About 35 athletes are currently in the camp, but the Technical Director of AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama told The Guardian Wednesday that about five of them might go home Thursday.

  Nesiama, however, said the number of athletes for the trip to Addis Ababa would depend mainly on their performance in today’s final trial.

  “We want to take our best athletes to Ethiopia and our final trial in Shagamu on Thursday will determine who makes the trip. We have about 35 athletes in the camp at the moment, but it is most likely five of them may drop at the end of the final trial. But it will depend on their performance,” Nesiama said.

  Speaking with The Guardian from the camp Wednesday, Commonwealth gold medalist, long jumper Ese Brume said she was optimistic of making the trip, adding: “I don’t have any major challenger in the camp at the moment. The atmosphere here is good and AFN is giving us the best of preparations for the competition.”

  Though, the AFN has listed Brume to compete in the long jump and 100/200/4x100m events, she told The Guardian she would also compete in the triple jump event.

  Two years ago in Mauritius, Brume competed as an U-17 athlete and got two gold and a silver medal to take Team Nigeria to the top of the medals table ahead of South Africa.

  She was beaten to the triple jump gold medal by her challenger from Lesotho, a defeat Brume is looking forward to avenging in Addis Ababa next month. “I will compete in the long jump, triple jump, 100m and 4x100m and I am sure of getting the four gold medals this time.”

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