Winner of the girls’ 400m at the 2013 African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) in Warri, Edidiong Ofonime Odiong is set to don the red and white colours of Bahrain after being cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to compete for the Asian nation.
In the latest media release by the IAAF, the 19-year old became eligible to compete for Bahrain from June 11, and it is only a matter of time before she begins to officially run for her adopted country.
The former Nigerian junior champion joins the growing list of talent that have decided to pitch their tents with other countries in search of greener pastures, with Peter Emelieze’s switch to Germany preceding Odiong’s move to Bahrain.
Odiong is one of the most talented young athletes discovered and groomed by Cross River Athletics Grassroots Developmental Initiative, a programme which unfortunately, is no longer in place, and would have been a great asset to Nigeria in the women’s 400m and 4x400m events.
She represented Nigeria at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon where she got to the final of the 400m, finishing 6th, and 4x400m where she anchored the team comprising of Praise Idamadudu, Jennifer Edobi and Yinka Ajayi to 5th place.
She joins compatriots Kemi Adekoya, Abbas Abubakar, Precious Moses and Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Bahrain. It will be recalled that Adekoya gifted Bahrain its first ever World Indoor Championships GOLD medal after winning the women’s 400m title in Portland a few months ago.
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