Friday, 3rd December 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Ogunkoya determined to unearth future Olympians at South-West Athletics meet

By Ifeanyi Ibeh
11 November 2021   |   6:22 pm
Chairperson of the South West Athletics Association, Falilat Ogunkoya, says Friday's all secondary schools athletics meet at the Yaba College of Technology is one of the programmes lined up by the body to unearth future Olympians for the respective states in the South-West region and Nigeria in general. “The South-West zone is determined to give…

Falilat Ogunkoya (middle) celebrates with Mary Onyali (right) and Katrin Krabbe of East Germany after clinching gold in the 200m event at the 1986 World Junior Championships in Athens, Greece. She is hoping to raise new stars at the South-West meet. (Photo: World Athletics)

Chairperson of the South West Athletics Association, Falilat Ogunkoya, says Friday’s all secondary schools athletics meet at the Yaba College of Technology is one of the programmes lined up by the body to unearth future Olympians for the respective states in the South-West region and Nigeria in general.

“The South-West zone is determined to give proper definition to grassroots sports development and we are taking the first step towards the unearthing of new talents that we will nurture to become another Falilat Ogunkoya, Mary Onyali, Yusuf Alli, Seun Ogunkoya, Sunday Bada, Angela Atiede and Enoch Adegoke.

“The athletes mentioned here were developed by the zone before they became international stars,” said Ogunkoya who made history as the first Nigerian track and field athlete to win an individual Olympic medal and the first to win two medals at the same edition of the quadrennial games.

Ogunkoya revealed that the event is open only to students from schools in the South-West region and will feature the 100m, 400m, long jump, shot put and the 4x100m and 4x400m mixed relays.

The 52-year-old four-time World Athletics Championships 400m finalist, who was ranked the best quatermiler in the world in 1998, says Friday’s event is sponsored by members of the association.

“I want to sincerely thank all members of the association for pulling resources together for this event. It shows how passionate they are about the sport and their desire to see that the zone produces for the 2024 Olympics another Enoch Adegoke who made history as the first man since 1996 to qualify and run in the final of the men’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said Ogunkoya.

The one day event will likely have Tonobock Okowa, president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, as a special guest.