Stories by Onochie Anibeze, in Berlin
Nigeria may not make impact in the World Athletics Championship here in Berlin but legendary Lee Evans is hopeful that the light of track and field may shine on Nigeria again. Obinna Metu, Olusoji Fasuba and Ogho Egwero-Oghene ran with the best in the world here and their best only got them into the second round of the 100m event.|

That they even got to the second round before all losing out impressed new AFN president Solomon Ogba who said that he has actually realised the magnitude of the job he has to do to revive athletics in Nigeria. “It is huge, very challenging,” he said of the task on hand.

For Evans who is part of the Nigerian team, the country should not bother about the outcome of the events here. They should look forward to the Commonwealth Games and London Olympics. He said he needs about two months to transform things and make some impact on the athletes. But he is yet to be officially engaged by the athletics federation. The help he is rendering here is on the basis of his friendship with Ogba. And he has been with the Nigerian team for few days.

“I think the future may be bright again but we have a lot of work to do. We need money to effect changes and achieve results,” Ogba said here, adding “that three of our sprinters qualified for the second round is encouraging. I am happy. I feel more challenged. I hope that we will get there. For now, it’s really tough”

Egwero returned 10.19, his personal best but could not get into the semi-final but the young Deltan athlete said running here was a great experience for him. In his first heat, he ran with Usain Bolt and placed third, shook with the world record holder and Olympic gold medallist and felt inspired.


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