The 2015 edition of the Warri Relays/CAA Grand Prix will be coming up on Friday, with Nigeria looking forward to hosting other African countries. Athletes have already started trickling in, and are set to take part in what promises to be an exciting Championship.
This will be like a dress rehearsals for the National Championships coming up next week in Calabar, although it’s uncertain if they will carry on with the hosting rights. Many Nigerian athletes would be looking at putting up good performances just in time before the trials, to stand a chance of making the team to the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
Former American sprinter and current Nigerian relay coach, Maurice Greene has arrived with some of the country’s athletes based in the United States, and athletes from other countries have also hit Warri for the competitions.
South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Bostwana, Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates are some of the countries who have confirmed their participation for the competition, and they will be taking part in the relay events as well as individual races at the meeting.
In the men’s 100m A start-list, 2015 Golden League champion, Nicholas Imhoapermhe will be going up against Seye Ogunlewe . However, Ogho-Oghene Egwero who has run 10.15s will be the one to beat, although the outcome of the race could swing any way.
Other athletes to keep an eye on include: Nigeria’s Jonathan Nmaju and USA’s Albert Huntley. Former national champion, Obinna Metu and African junior champion, Divine Oduduru will be competing in the B- final.
The women’s 100m will equally be interesting, with Gloria Asumnu and Dominque Duncan leading the lines in the A- starting list. African Junior champion, South Africa’s Tamzin Thomas will be giving them a strong test, with Peace Uko also in the list. The B-list will see Olivier Ekpone and Nkem Ezeala strut it out.
Both Tyrone Akins and Alex Al-Ameen will have their work cut in the men’s 110m hurdles against home boy Martins Ogieriakhi, who has been in fine form this year, while Lindsay Wenyime is going for the women’s 100m hurdles.
Having done the fastest time by a Nigerian female quarter-miler since Falilat Ogunkoya in 2001, another opportunity has been presented to Patience Okon in the women’s 400m to show that her 50.76s in Switzerland was not a fluke.
In the men’s 400m, Botswana’s Pako Seribe will be the favourite, but Nigeria’s duo of Orukpe Erayokan and Robert Simmons will be no push-overs.
Ese Brume and Samson Idiata are some of the names to look out for in the field events, with both competing in the women’s and men’s long jump events respectively.
The relay events will be the last competitions for the day, with Nigeria presenting teams that will go up against other countries. Although local clubs like the Civil Defence and the Customs will be parading their own teams.
Nigeria has a great history in relays, having won many medals in international competitions in this category, and with this championship tagged: “Inspiring Fresh Speeds of the Baton”, one could only hope for more better things to come from Nigerian athletes.