Nigerian male sprinters of recent times have failed to measure up to world standards. But former international, Uchenna Emedolu believes that starting from this season, Nigerians can expect a revival from their underachieving genera-tion of male sprinters.
Emedolu with a personal best of 9.97 seconds was among the last batch of world standard Nigerian runners including David-son Ezinwa, Olapede Adenikan, Francis Obikwelu who was lost to Portugal, Deji Aliu and Olusoji Fasuba who still holds the African 100m record of 9.85 seconds since 2006.
Taking a prospective look at the likes of Obinna Metu, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Seye Ogunlewe, Jonathan Nmaju, Mamus Emobo-nuvie, Harry Chukwudike and a host of other up and coming juniors, Emedolu submitted that these athletes will not have problems posting a decent 10.1 seconds run in the season and then progressively go under 10.00 seconds.
“Doing 10.1 for our sprinters this season will be an easy thing. From what I have seen of Metu and others, it wouldn’t be a difficult task running a constant 10.1.
“There are some juniors that I have seen with prospects and I am sure the others are equally working hard and we are definitely going to see a rebirth of the men’s sprint.”
He added that going under 10.00 seconds will not be a piece of cake for these sprinters, however, with constant training and consistent performances they will join the big boys of world sprints before the 2016 Olympics.
“I am not going to stick out my neck and predict that anyone of our boys will go under 10 seconds soon. But let us wait and see how they will get along in the season. If we can have them putting up a consistent performance then we can safely conclude that we can have a 9.00 seconds runner soon.”
How much of Emedolu’s prediction that will come true will be put on display this afternoon as the season kicks of at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode. Athletics officials are optimistic that the athletes who have been through camping and conditioning exercises will live up.