Commonwealth Games double sprint Champion Blessing Okagbare tops the list of 29 athletes expected to do the country proud at the 2016 African Senior Athletics Championships holding in Durban, South Africa from June 22 to 26.
Nigeria finished 2nd to South Africa on the medals table at the last edition of the championships held in Marrakech, Morocco, and will hope to put up a formidable opposition when the competition takes off later this month.
Other athletes named in the list released by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Sunday are Gloria Asumnu, Chioma Agwunobi , Jennifer Madu, Regina George, Margaret Bamgbose, Chinwe Okoro, Nwanneka Okwelogu, Uhunoma Osazuwa, Toyin Augustus and Claire Uke.
Adekunle Fasasi who has made tremendous improvement in the 400m is also in the team, as well as Chidi Okezie, Doreen Amata, Stephen Mozia, Miles Ukaoma, Olu Olamigoke and Paul Dedewo.
Also included in the squad are Agnes Osazuwa, Patience Okon George, Yinka Ajayi, Omolara Omotosho, Peace Uko, Ese Brume, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Divine Oduduru, Obina Metu, Orukpe Erayokan and Adams Samuel Kure.
Conspicuously missing in the list is National Champion in the men’s Triple Jump, Tosin Oke who won the African Championships in 2010 and 2014, as well as the African Games in 2011 and 2015.
His most recent outing was at last month’s IAAF World Challenge in Hengelo where he finished 2nd behind USA’s Chris Carter with a Season’s Best (SB) of 16.87m.
Reigning African Games Champion in the women’s 400m Hurdles, Amaka Ogoegbunam wasn’t listed for the championships as well. It’s also unclear why Tobi Amusan’s name is missing from the 29-man team.
The African Games Champion in the 100m Hurdles has been one of the country’s most consistent athletes this season, and was in impressive form this past weekend where she finished 2nd at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
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