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Okagbare, Oduduru, others take Olympics build-up to Monaco

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Nigerian gold medallists Tobi Amusan, Blessing Okagbare, Joy Udo-Gabriel and Rosemary Chukwuma celebrate after winning the women’s 4x100m relay during the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba. Amusan is now in Texas ahead of the USTAF Invitational. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP.


• AFN’s camp bubbles in Abuja

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s camp for the Tokyo Olympic Games opened in Abuja at the weekend, but some of the nation’s top sprinters, including Blessing Okagbare, Divine Oduduru, Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri have taken their build-up to the festival to Germany and other European countries.

AFN Secretary-General, Adisa Beyioku, in a letter dated July 2, and addressed to the Director, Federation Elite Athletes Department in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, invited 25 athletes and 10 coaches to the Olympics camp in Abuja.

Among the athletes listed for the Abuja camp are Blessing Okagbare, Grace Nwokocha, Rosemary Chukwuma, Favour Ofili, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Ruth Usoro, Annette Echiwunke, Chioma Onyekwere, Patience Okon-George, Knowledge Omovoh and Tina Godbless, who will serve as the alternate member in the women’s team.

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The list of male athletes invited to the Abuja camp are Divine Oduduru, Raymond Ekekvwo, Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Chukwuebuka Enekweshi, Oghenebrume Godson, Jerry Jakpa, Chidi Okezie, Samson Nathaniel and Ifeanyi Ojeli.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that U.S.-based Oduduru, whose absence in Lagos affected the men’s 4x100m team in the qualification battle for the Olympics, has arrived in Germany ahead of a competition in Monaco this week.

An official of the AFN told The Guardian yesterday that other top athletes including Okagbare, Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri have relocated to Europe to continue their build up for the Olympics.

Oduduru, who is one of Nigeria’s hottest sprinters going to the Tokyo Olympics, will feature in the 100m alongside Raymond Ekekvwo, Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri. Oduduru is Team Nigeria’s sole athlete in the 200m.

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