By Sedara Philip
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, has invited 55 athletes to camp for the final leg of preparations for the Africa U18 and U20 championships scheduled to hold later his month in Ndola, Zambia.
Majority of the athletes were picked after the AFN U18 and U20 trials held at the Ahmadu Bello stadium in Kaduna late last month.
Top of the list is 18 years old Ronke Ashabi who set a new Nigeria 3000m U20 record at the trials. Ashabi first set the record barely a year ago at the International School Sports Federation (ISF) held in Caen, France.
Also on the list of invited athletes are the reigning Nigeria 100m U20 record holder, Tima Godbless, Sule Rejoice Adijatu, Okpah Elo Blessing, Aladeloye Adetutu Funmilayo, Immaculate Daniel, Rosemary Etim and Grace Sule.
Others are Joseph Joy Ayomide, Kudoro Taiwo, Mustapha Ruqqayah Kemi, Akintoye Blessing Joy, Usenbor Osaretin Joy, Bright Ada Princess and Oshiokpu Grace.
For the U20 men, Musa Kola Nurain, Ajayi Konyinsola Ismail, Adebisi Musbau, Unorji Kingsley, Toviho Enitan Olabode, Ajayi Kehinde, Ajayi Oluwabamidele, Badejo Emmanuel, Joshua Caleb, Okonye Precious, Charles Godfred Edward, Orekevwie Oghenetega, Iheakolam Joel and Habibu Salisu made the cut.
Faith Okwose will lead the charge for medals in the sprint for the U18 girls. The 17 year old won two silver medals in the 100 and 200m events behind Godbless at the National Sports Festival last December in Asaba, Delta state.
Others are Yakpobeyan Justina Tiana, Oyebode Stella Oluwaremilekun, Nwachukwu Chioma, Onyah Favour Onyinye, Saibu Yetunde Olayinka, Prestina Ochonogor, Ewa Peace, Irivi Precious, Djoma Fejiro Praise, Ofuoku Nyerhovwo, Ovedje Oke Gift and Kparika Victoria.
The U18 boys will have Isreal Okon Sunday, Daje Lucky, John Caleb, Samuel Ogazi, Olanrewaju Olawole Erioluwa, Francis James Musa, Pam Paul James, Fiaku Goodluck, Aninze Ifeanyi, Isaac Chukwuwike Miracle, Sadiq Zakariyya, Dickson Christain, Badmus Gafar Atandaand Blessing Emmanuel.
Samuel Onikeku, the Technical Director of the AFN says the camp will open on Tuesday April 11, 2023 at the High Perfromance Centre in Abuja.
Nigeria finished third (13 gold, six silver and 13 bronze medals) behind South Africa and Kenya in the last edition of the championships held at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.