The African Junior Championships began yesterday in Mauritius with 22 countries vying for honours. But Nigerian athletics officials feel threatened by the large number of South African contingent which they believe may reflect on the medals table.
Already Egyptian, Fadya El Kasaby took the first medal of the championships yesterday in the women Discus throw.
However, Nigerian athletes according to coach Maria Osifo are poised to maintain their traditional stronghold on the sprints.
“We have put our athletes in good condition after the long trip from Sapele. They are ready to dominate sprints.
“The only competition we expect here will be from South Africa. They are here with a large number of athletes. They are just a three-hour plane ride from here and they are well rested,” said Maria Osifo.
Some of the athletes spoken to expressed readiness to compete and win medals in their events.
“I have prepared very hard for this championships and I came here with the aim of winning my event,” said sprinter Harry Chukwudike.
Also long jumper Ese Brume stated that she is aiming for three gold medals. “I am doing the Long and sprints and by the grace of God I am targeting three gold medals.”