To an onlooker, the just concluded Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers meet was like any other competition.
However, it was a history-making event for Making of Champions (MoC) as the company officially presented four athletes whom they will be sponsoring to domestic competitions throughout the season, with the All-Comers being their first outing for MoC.
In line with MoC’s mandate of raising future champions for Nigeria in Track and Field, Peter Edwin, Onengi Ikoko, Ese Oguma and Chibuike Egbochinam were led to their first competition by MoC Head Coach in Lagos, Deji Aliu.
It was a commendable outing for all four athletes as they participated in the men’s sprinting events at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex.
Peter ran in the men’s 100m and 200m, finishing 2nd in his heat in the first race, while dominating his heat in the second. Ikoko placed 3rd in both heats in the 100m/200m. Oguma placed 2nd in both his 100m/400m heats, while Egbochinam took 3rd position in his heat in the 200m.
17-year old Oguma, who is the reigning Lagos State Secondary School Sports Festival champion in the 100m/200m, and now in his first year at the University of Port Harcourt, had this to say:
“I feel happy, excited and grateful for the opportunity given me and I hope to make it for MoC. It’s going to be a great experience competing regularly on the domestic scene because my target is to lower my time and run better since I’m no longer running with secondary school students; I’m running against men now, so I hope to do better.”
Echoing Oguma’s sentiments, Edwin said: “I’m very happy and grateful to MoC. I know that working with them is going to take me far so I won’t want to let them down. I will need to put in my best in all I do just to ensure that MoC stays proud of me.”
MoC’s Founder/CEO Bambo Akani said, “I thought it was an encouraging start for something we have been working on for quite some time now. It was really wonderful to see the Making of Champions jersey on our first four athletes for the first time. It was very nice to hear the crowd cheering Team MoC as our athletes crossed the finishing line.
“Our objective for this season is not to put too much pressure on these athletes. Every one we selected is really young; most of them would be in the frame for the World Juniors Trials later on this month. But really for this season it’s just for them to really get a feel of what it’s like to represent MoC ahead of next season.
“Come September we will start with a full pre-season. We have a long shortlist from all the great performers from Top Sprinter last year, so any athlete who has yet to be listed in Team MoC should keep training hard because we expect to make more announcements in September ahead of the 2016/2017 season.”
Be sure to follow makingofchamps.com for all the latest news from our on-location coverage of the domestic season starting with the AFN Golden League, to the World Juniors Trials, and National Championships.
Also watch out for more athletes who are being sponsored by Team MoC for the domestic season.