February 23, 2020

Nwokocha rides high on Edo deputy gov’s “adopt an athlete” lift

By Ben Efe,

In 2019 Grace Ngozi Nwokocha was a heartbroken sprinter after she was unceremoniously dumped from the Nigerian team to the Africa Games and the world championships in Doha, Qatar.

She passed out when the news hit her having placed fourth in the trials and thus earned a spot in the team. Nwokocha however, shook off the disappointment with a vow to make the 2020 season her breakthrough year and put to shame those who conspired against her.

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Fortunately, she made the list of beneficiaries for Sports Minister Sunday Dare’s “Adopt an Athlete” initiative. And she was lucky to have the Edo State deputy governor, Hon Philip Shuaibu covers her training and upbringing.

Nwokocha received her check for the $10,000 sponsorship, and for her, it was a shot in the arm and there was no way but forward. She demonstrated her intentions at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria All-Comers meet in Akure, Ondo State.

She ran a personal best of 11.37 seconds it was her first race of the season, running in a very competitive field sprinters athletics officials can look forward to a revival in the women sprints in Nigeria.

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“I’m thrilled that I have been adopted by the Edo deputy governor,” Nwokocha said.

I’m so grateful to him and the sports minister who included my name on the list. It is a huge boost to my career and I can only work harder and improve on my time. It is a tough challenge.

“With this I would be able to train very well and attend competitions. I’m glad there are promises of regular competitions, we are looking forward to these meets as they would afford us the opportunity to see how much improvement we have made and what we need to work on.”

Vanguard News