The Athletics Federation of Nigeria on Thursday released its team of 37 athletes that will be representing the country at the Commonwealth Games billed to hold in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4th to 15th, 2018.
Topping the list of athletes selected for the execution of the Games is Glasgow 2014 defending champion in the women’s 100m/200m, Blessing Okagbare, who is also the reigning Commonwealth Games record holder in the women’s 100m.
Joining Okagbare is Oluwatobiloba Amusan who now competes for Adidas, and will be a major contender in the 100m Hurdles. Winners in several events at the recently-held Commonwealth Games Trials in Abuja, also made the list.
They include Enoch Adegoke (men’s 100m), Emmanuel Arowolo (men’s 200m), Emmanuel Bamidele (men’s 400m), Oyeniyi Abejoye (110m Hurdles), Patience Okon-George (women’s 400m), Queen Obisesan (women’s Hammer throw), Fadekemi Olude (women’s 20km Walk race) and Blessing Ibrahim (women’s Triple Jump).
Others are Samuel Adams (men’s Javelin), Precious Okoronkwo (women’s Long Jump), Isoken Igbinosun (women’s 100m/200m), Eke Kalu Onwuka (men’s Shot put), Grace Ayemoba (100m Hurdles), Glory Nathaniel (women’s 400m Hurdles) and Henry Okorie (men’s 400m Hurdles).
National Record (NR) holder in the women’s High Jump Doreen Amata is making a return to the team, as well as NR holder in the women’s Javelin, Kelechi Nwanaga. Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Yinka Ajayi, Praise Idamadudu, Rita Ossai, Rosemary Chukwuma, Joy Udo-Gabriel, Idjesa Uruemu, Isah Salihu, Kemi Francis, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Orukpe Erayokan and Samson Nathaniel were also named on the team.
Although the list is dominated by home-based athletes, a number of foreign-based athletes such as Regina George (400m), Chidi Okezie (400m), Jennifer Madu (100m), Michael Edwards (High Jump), Stephen Mozia (Shot put) and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (Shot put) also made the cut.
Conspicuously missing on the list of invitees is National 100m men’s champion Seye Ogunlewe who competed in the heats and semis of the Commonwealth Games Trials in Abuja. Also, reigning African and Commonwealth Games Champion in the women’s Long Jump, Ese Brume isn’t among the invited athletes.