Nigerian youths ignite Lagos as LSAA Athletics Club Series begins
Over 655 athletes, representing 24 clubs from across the country, were at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), on Sunday, to display their skills at the opening round of the four-leg Lagos Athletics Club Series.
LSAA Technical Director, Enefiok Udo-Obong, described the turnout as impressive for the first leg, while hoping that more athletes will join the tournament, which second leg will hold next month.
Former national 100m champion, Enoch Adegoke and national women 400m champion, Patience Okon-George, were among the star athletes that competed at the one-day tournament watched by top athletics buffs, including officials of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), led by its chairman, Shola Aiyepeku.
One of the discoveries at the event was the star athlete at the last International School, Lagos (ILS) Inter-house sports competition, Femisola Mohammed, who achieved a personal best (PB) time of 57.72 seconds in the women’s 400m. Another youth star, Ada Bright, dusted some of the top athletes in one of the finals of the women’s 200m with 24.6 seconds.
An elated Mohammed described her feat as a motivation for her to work harder. “I am so excited to compete in this competition because I just came to be part of it, not expecting to run a PB. It is my first Personal Best record, which is motivation for me to continue to work harder,” she said.
For Okon-George, competing in this kind of tournament would help athletes to assess their readiness for major competitions, as well as gauge their fitness for future events.
“This is opportunity for us to assess ourselves because we have been training without competing and having this kind of competition will help us to know where we are and what we need to do to get to where we are going.
“I think it is a good tournament for all athletes regardless of your status,” the quartermiler, who is a member of Udo-Obong Athletics Academy, said.
Speaking at the event, LSAA Chairman, Solomon Alao, said the essence of the tournament is to unearth new talents, adding: “One of the enduring structures in athletes, for us, has been the clubs because they will always exist and this platform will continue the legacy that has made Lagos a top athletics state in the country.
“We also want to ensure that athletes discovered are nurtured to stardom through this kind of platform,” Alao said.