Nine years after ImoÂ State-born Glory Alozie dumped Nigeria for Spain, the 2000 Sydney Olympic 100m hurdles silver medallist is one of the top track and field stars expected to run at this Saturdayâ€™s CAA Abuja Grand Prix.
Alozie who defied the agonising death of her fiancÃ© Hyginus Anugo to race the sprint hurdles in Nigeriaâ€™s colours at the Sydney Games is excited about the prospect of coming home to show to her kith and kin that the fire is not gone yet, even though, another Nigerian born Josephine Onyia is stealing the thunder now in the event for their adopted country. Alozie (12.68) chased American Gail Devers to the finish line to pick the precious silver medal.
Sunday Bada, technical/performance director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) who yesterday confirmed Alozieâ€™s itinerary for the Grand Prix was the captain of the Nigerian team to the Sydney Games.
â€œWe are really excited about Gloryâ€™s return to her fatherland to grace this meet. Her acceptance is an indication that the present board just few months in office is towing the right path of returning Nigeriaâ€™s track and field to the top again,â€ observed the Superintendent of Police who is in-charge of the Ikoyi Division.
The events that led to Alozie dumping Nigeria for Spain were principally orchestrated by the insensitivity on the part of those running Nigerian sports at the time. Poor athletesâ€™ welfare was the primary reason most of the athletes adduced for their flight. Top sprinter, Francis Obiora Obikwelu, set the tone with his change of nationality to Portugal. Of course, Alozie who had had training partnership with Joan Ekah and her boy friend, Hyginus in Valencia were easily assimilated into the Spanish environment.
Alozie is not the only â€˜Nigerian in Diasporaâ€™ coming to Abuja for the meet. Toyin Olupona is a Canadian who is also coming.
Meanwhile, the first sets of athletes to arrive the country for the Meet were the Kenyans. They are expected to jet to Abuja today even as Nigeriaâ€™s Beijing Olympic long jump bronze medallist, Blessing Okagbare, also arrived Nigeria from her American based. Top athletes from USA, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other parts of the world be running in Abuja. See list of athletes who registered for the meet.