Five Nigerian athletes are set to race against some of the big names in professional Track and Field at the 2nd edition of the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational taking place at the Tom Robinson National Stadium in Nassau on Saturday April 16, 2016.
Top on the list are the country’s No.1 and 2 athletes in the men’s 400m Hurdles, Miles Ukaoma and rival Amaechi Morton who will go head-to-head in the event as the duo commence their campaign to the outdoor season.
They will have it tough facing 2015 World Bronze Medallist and home favourite, Jeffery Gibson; 2013 World Champion Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago; Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson; USA’s Johnny Dutch and the Jamaican pair of Leford Green and Roxroy Cato.
The women’s category will see National 400m Hurdles Record Holder Ajoke Odumosu open her season against America’s duo of Dynasty McGee and Te’Erea Brown, Ese Okoro of Great Britain and Jamaica’s Shevon Stoddart.
In the sprints, Olivia Ekpone will be the sole representative for Team Nigeria as she guns to make 2016 her breakthrough year, after switching allegiances last year to represent Nigeria.
The 23-year old who has a Personal Best (PB) of 11.11s/22.23s in both the 100m/200m, started her season at the San Marcos Invitational where she finished 5th in the 100m in 11.59s.
This time around, she would be lining up in the 200m, going against a stacked field comprising of World 100m Bronze Medallist, Tori Bowie of USA and compatriots Joanna Atkins, Natasha Hastings, Charonda Williams and Candyce McGrone, with Semoy Hackett of Trinidad and Tobago completing the list.
National Triple Jump Champion Tosin Oke, will be hoping to jump a Season’s Best (SB) at the event. The African Games Champion will have his hands full against current Olympic and World Champion Christian Taylor.
Bahamas’ Triple Jump hero, Levan Sands, Jamaica’s Daniel Lewis and Great Britain’s pair of Nathan Fox and Nonso Okolo are also expected to be stiff competitors.
Another mouthwatering event of global interest is the Men’s 100m where World Silver Medallist Justin Gatlin will race in his first competitive race of the year against his countryman Isaiah Young and Asian Record Holder, Femi Ogunode.
Not left out is the Men’s 400m where Olympic Champion Kirani James will compete with notable rivals and veterans Tony McQuay, Jeremy Wariner, Angelo Taylor and homeboy Alonzo Russell.
World 400m Silver Medallist LaShawn Merritt will be going for a fast race as he faces fellow Americans Wallace Spearmon and Mike Rodgers, as well as hometown boy Michael Mathieu in the men’s 200m.
The home crowd’s focus will be on the highly anticipated women’s 400m where heroine, Shaunae Miller will hope to go for the World Lead against America’s duo of Ashley Spencer and Jessica Beard.
2013 World champion David Oliver, 2011 World champion Jason Richardson and reigning World Indoor Champion Omar McLeod will be the focus in the men’s sprint hurdles as they line up against Andrew Riley, Greggmar Swift, Shane Brathwaite, Jamaica’s Tyler Mason and American Aleec Harris.
Meanwhile in the women’s category, the top names to beat in the field are USA’s trio of Jasmin Stowers, bitter rival Sharicka Nelvis and Queen Harrison.
For the 100m, all eyes will be on Jamaica’s World Championships Bronze Medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown, Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure and Michelle Lee-Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago.