The main bowl of the National Stadium in Abuja is set to go agog as athletes convene there to kick start the 2018 Athletics season with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers meet holding on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th.
The All-Comers meet, which is the curtain raiser to the season, is set to help athletes gauge their level of preparedness ahead of the five AFN Golden League meets, with the first leg to hold next weekend at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
Also, considering that the Commonwealth Games is just a few months away, some of these athletes would look to make the most of the opportunity to hit the qualifying standards of the games, as well as that of the African Championships taking place in August 2018.
The two-day event will see athletes compete in several events including the 100m, 100m Hurdles, 110m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles, 200m, 400m, 800m, Heptathlon, Decathlon, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot put, 10,000m, 4x100m and 4x400m amongst others.
Some of the athletes that will be on parade are the male and female 200m Champions at this year’s National Championships, Emmanuel Arowolo and Maria Thompson-Omokwe.
Thompson-Omokwe will renew her rivalry with Isoken Igbinosun in the sprint events as she narrowly pipped her to the 200m GOLD at the 2017 National Trials. Making of Champions’ (MoC) Joy Udo-Gabriel and Eaglesight’s Blessing Ogundiran will also be in the mix to spice things up.
Furthermore, the duo of Arowolo and MoC’s Jerry Jakpa will go head to head once again in the sprints after the close call in the 200m final at the National Championships, a race that saw Arowolo defeat Jakpa by a hair’s breadth.
Equally, Rio 2016 Olympian Orukpe Erayokan will also be on parade, along with AFN/MoC National U-20 Silver medalist Bamidele Emmanuel, who was going through his paces at the Abuja National Stadium earlier in the day.
Emmanuel Gyang who has cut a dominant figure in the long distance races in Nigeria over the years, will also look to usher in the season with a good performance at the meet. National Champion in the men’s Javelin event, Samuel Adams is also on ground, and would hope to begin his season on a good note.