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Dollar Deal! Athletes burn tracks in Calabar

By Ben Efe & Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Calabar
Athletics Federation of Nigeria president Solomon Ogba said yesterday that athletes who  make world standard performances in their respective events at the All Nigerian championships  will go home with N2m.

He said this during a press briefing heralding the 2nd All Nigeria Cross River Athletics Championships that the federation will reward all athletes who  set standards at the Calabar meet.  No fewer than 348 foreign and home-based athletes are already in for the Olympic trial in Calabar, Cross River State.

“Performances will be rewarded.  There is a N2m jackpot to be won in all the events, but the winners for instance will have to make 9.99 and 10.99 secs for the men and women respectively. We will use this standard to measure all other events,” Ogba stated.

He added that the trial is not going to be an all comers’ affair, stressing that it was the best of Nigeria that will be on parade.

“We are expecting an exciting trial. The best of Nigerian athletes from home and abroad are already in town, we have a full house.”

Also, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan in solidarity with his Cross River State counterpart has promised to reward all Nigerian athletes who qualified for the Olympics with 2,500 dollars to aid their preparations for the London 2012 Olympics.

An Athletics Federation of Nigeria official disclosed in Calabar that Dr. Uduaghan was pleased with what Liyel Imoke was doing for athletics, hence his decision to make his own contribution towards the up keep of Nigerian athletes.

“Governor Uduaghan has promised to reward all the athletes who qualify for the Olympics. He is very appreciative of what is happening here in Cross River State and has made the contribution in solidarity with his colleague Senator Imoke,” said the official.

The All Nigeria Cross River Championships begin today with over 340 athletes vying for Olympic slots.


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