Making of Champions (MoC) Track Club has registered a record nineteen (19) of its athletes to participate at the All-Comers meet, happening this weekend at the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Ondo state.
This is the largest pool of athletes MoC will be entering for one competition, surpassing last year’s record of 17 registered for the All-Comers meet in Ijebu Ode.
National Champions, men’s 400m & women’s 100m: Emmanuel Ojeli and Joy Udo-Gabriel will lead an enterprising group of athletes, looking to fully get their 2020 season underway as they chase Tokyo Olympics qualifications.
Having thrice run an identical PB of 20.59s in 2019, National 200m Silver medallist, Jerry Jakpa will hope he could quickly bag his Olympics qualification, with the 200m standard of 20.24s well within his grasp. Jakpa is almost there (Olympics qualification), at least his 2019 form suggests that it could be a matter of time before he attains that.
For Udo-Gabriel who will be competing in both the women’s 100m and 200m, she is back at the scene where she ran her first sub 12s in the women’s 100m, running a then PB of 11.87s as a 17-year-old which qualified her for her first National Senior Championships that year.
Ojeli on his part, will not be running in the 400m in Akure, opting for the 100m and 200m events. Last year, Ojeli showed that he could compete in these events, running PBs of 10.41s & 21.07s respectively in Potchefstroom. He could go faster this time, and expect new PBs from him.
There are promising Juniors in the MoC track club to keep an eye on as well: Favour Ekpekpe and Favour Ashe will be competing in Akure for the first time, but no doubt will have their minds fixated on securing qualifications for the World Junior Championships later this year in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ekpekpe last year ran a PB of 21.11s in the 200m, but it was recorded just before the qualification window for the World Junior Champs opened. Ashe in less than a year of joining MoC, massively cut down his 100m PB, running under 11s for the first time to clock 10.72s. He has gone on to run 10.60s at the TAFCAN meet in Lagos this year, and he’s definitely proving that he could be a dark horse in the Junior category.
For Miracle Thompson, she is one of only two MoC athletes registered for 100m Hurdles, with the other being Fidelia Ucheobi. Thompson has not even had a full year’s training in the Hurdles, but on her recent outing in Lagos, she was marginally beaten to first place, and she looked as though she had started out in this event.
Blessing Oladoye will lead MoC’s charge in the women’s 400m, and having cracked the Senior National team last year, going on to represent Nigeria at the African Games in Rabat and World Championships in Doha, surely Olympics is her next target.
Maria Umoibang is the youngest MoC athlete here, but overtime she has shown that she has all it takes to compete with much more older athletes. Still only 15, Umoibang has a 100m PB of 12.27s, and was a finalist at the National Youth Games in Ilorin.
The competition in Akure is the first of many to come this season, and although many athletes might not be in the rhythm to drop jaw breaking times yet, don’t rule out a masterpiece showpiece from FUTA.