By Ben Efe
National sprint champion, Obinna Metu has denied insinuations that he is scared of running with the big boys of track and field atÂ big events.
Metu won the Mobil Track and Field Champions in Calabar and athletics buffs remembered last season when he also topped the field at the national trials, but failed to perform at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Metu said in Lagos before joining the rest of the Nigerian team in Nairobi, Kenya for the African Championships that he was not scared of running with the worldâ€™s top sprinters. He added that he is out to prove that point at the Nairobi 2010 championships.He has Gerrard Phiri of Zambia to contend with in the men’s 100m in Kenya. There are also home boys like Ogho-Oghene Egworo and Benjamin Adukwu all of whom have done better times this season, compared to Obinnaâ€™s 10.25 Mobil Championships winning time.â€œIt’s not true that Iâ€™m afraid of big names. I have ran with the likes of Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell and so there is nothing to fear.
â€œAt the African championships, Iâ€™m aware that Gerrard Phiri holds a better time this season in Africa. But I have equally done 10.16 seconds and so we are in the same category.
However, despite his bravado Obinna is not making any promise of doing a fantastic time in Nairobi, where the Championships begin on July 28.â€œPerformance will be based on how friendly the weather will be in Nairobi, but I have prepared myself and Iâ€™m going to give it my best.â€Obinna admonished his compatriots to wake up to the challenge in the relays, and not display attitude like that of the 2008 Championships in Ethiopia where the baton was dropped.
â€œI hope that we will do well this time in the relays. Our boys should have it at the back of their minds that they are not running for themselves but for the country. We must have to do our best to come clean with ourÂ races,â€Obinna said.