Nigeria’s hope of doing a refurbishment on her men’s 4x400m relay team is hanging on the balance as high flying US-based athlete, Amaechi Morton is yet to commit himself to running for Nigeria.
Morton who represented Nigeria at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany is being expected to join the team that is yet to book qualification ticket for the London 2012 Olympics.
“We’ve been talking to the athlete, but so far there is no firm commitment from him. But we expect him to join our team since this is a chance for him to participate in the Olympics,” said an official of the AFN in Lagos.
Morton recently ran an Olympic A standard 48.95 seconds over the hurdles. It is the fastest Nigerian time in over a decade. Henry Amike still holds the national record of 48.50 seconds, a time he set in 1987. South Africa’s Corrnel Fredericks’ 48.91 is the fastest African time so far in the season.
Morton has also done 46.12 secs in the 400m and officials are of the view that with his time and that of Abiola Onokoya who has 46.08, the 4x400m team could win the ticket for the Olympics.
It remained to be seen how Morton will joggle between Nigerian and Stanford University. The athlete is said to be heavily involved in the NCAA programme in June.
Cross River School athletics ends
Five days of fun and keen athletics competition comes to an end today for Cross River State school kids as the 3rd edition of the Cross River State Primary and Secondary Schools Athletics Championships enter its final day.
Over 2,500 athletes were registered to participate in this competition, which the State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke flagged off on Tuesday with pomp at the U.J Esuene Stadium.
All 18 LGA’s were represented in the Championships by two athletes in each event. They were selected from zonal championships.
The competition is the pet project of Governor Imoke who has always been on hand to grace the occasion no matter his engagements. The governor is hoping to replicate Jamaica’s success in athletics in Nigeria within a period of five years.
Idowu, Taylor clash in London
Phillips Idowu and Christian Taylor will go head-to-head in London in their final triple jump competition before one of the most eagerly-anticipated Olympic showdowns.
Idowu lost his world title to Taylor in Daegu last year, settling for a silver he is determined to upgrade this summer.
At just 21, Taylor is considered one of the brightest prospects in athletics but Idowu has started the season more impressively, winning their encounter at the recent IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.
And Idowu and Taylor will both compete at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on July 14, just over three weeks before they clash again at the Olympic Stadium.
“I’ve got a good winter of quality training under my belt and now I’m aiming for the gold medal,” said Idowu.
AFN golden league lay low in PH
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, has canceled the Lagos leg of the Golden League and keeps faith with Port Harcourt, Rivers State where most of the participating athletes are camped ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
This, according to the federation’s technical coordinator, Yusfu Alli, was to beat cost and also prevent the athletes from traveling back and forth.
“Besides the track facilities in Port Harcourt are very up to standard and we expect the athletes to put up good performances,” stated the former African long jump champion.
Port Harcourt hosted the 4th leg of the Golden League and it was due to happen at the Yaba College of Technology this weekend.
Some of the highlights include Tosin Adeloye, a junior athlete lowering the 53.46 seconds she did at the 2nd Pastor D.K Olukoya Under-18 Championships. She clocked 52.97 in the hotly contested women’s 400m won by Policewoman, Josephine Ehigie in 52.51. She beat Cross- Rivers State’s Patience Okon to second in 52.84 secs.
Other winners include: Chinazom Amadi, women’s Long Jump in 6.38 metres; Arinze Obiora, men’s High Jump in 2.05 metres; Feyisayo Daramola, women’s Hammer with 58.18 metres & Samuel Okon with 14.11 secs in the men’s 110m hurdles.