Still basking in the euphoria of Blessing Okagbare saving Nigeria the blushes at last month’s World Championships in Moscow, Delta State sports council boss, Amaju Pinnick has hinted that promising juniors like Divine Oduduru, Ese Brume and others will be given financial support to achieve global status in athletics.
The State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan while hosting Okagbare who won a silver in the women’s long jump and bronze in the 200m at the worlds in Russia said a US$100,000 training grant will be given to the newly crowned African women 100m record holder to prepare her for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But athletics enthusiasts reasoned that promising junior athletes from the State should equally be given funding and exposure to achieve world standard performances.
“We should look beyond Okabgare. After Rio 2016 what next? Since DeltaState has taken it upon itself to help her athletes to achieve more success, some of our juniors should also be given a push,” said a former national athlete.
However, Mr. Amaju declared that Delta has plans for all the promising junior athletes in the State. “Sure Delta will support these juniors to achieve their goals in athletics. We have plans and when the time comes, they will be unfolded.”
Oduduru showed his class at the last African junior championships in Mauritius. This was after dazzling home fans at the maiden African youth championships in Warri. He was also at the IAAF world youth championships in Ukraine. Brume also won a long jump and women 4x100m gold at the African championships in Mauritius. She stated that her ambition was to be among the world’s top five within the shortest possible time, adding that she wants to follow in the footsteps of Okagbare.