Nigeria’s 400m male athletes will be strong this year, says U.S.-based Okorie
• Patience Okon-George Targets A Standard
United States-based board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Victor Okorie, has said that the nation’s men 400m squad will be strong this season.
“Our men’s 400m is going to be interesting this year because of the calibre of athletes we have at the moment,” Okorie, a former 400m hurdler told The Guardian yesterday.
Last week, at the AFN Golden League event in Abuja, Samuel Ogazi did 45.91 seconds in the men 400m, a performance described as ‘fantastic’ by AFN’s Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku.
For Okorie, the competition among 400m male runners will be stronger than previous years.
“I discovered a Nigerian boy, Dubem Nwachukwu, at Arizona State University, who runs 44:91 seconds in 400m. Our 400m male team already has the likes of Samson Nathaniel, Ezekiel Nathaniel, Sikiru Adeyemi and Chidi Okezie. They are doing so well, and I feel the squad will make us proud, if Nigeria is able to take care of them ahead of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.
“My suggestion is that Nigeria should set up a training camp for the athletes here in the U.S. to make our 4x400m relay qualification easier,” Okorie stated.
Meanwhile, after an impressive 51.92 seconds run at the AFN Golden League in Abuja, Patience Okon-George said her next target is to make an A standard performance. The veteran athlete is keeping her eyes on the World Championships in Budapest.
Okon-George would be expected to be the backbone of the women 4x400m and mixed relay teams, having proven to be Nigeria’s most consistent 400m runner since she hit limelight in 2015.
“I am happy competing and still going strong,” she told Mainlandmetronews.ng.
“My performance in Abuja was heartwarming, but, definitely, I want to make more improvements, as we prepare for the world championships.
“I have a meet in Lagos on June 1 (yesterday), and thereafter, the other legs of Golden League. By the time we have the trials, By God’s grace I will be ready,” she stated.