The Athletics Federation of Nigeria considers the Cross River state/All Nigeria Athletics Championships a big event.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, led by its president, Solomon Ogba, has relocated to Calabar, the Cross River State capital, for this year’s Cross River State/All Nigeria Athletics Championships which starts Wednesday at the U.J Esuene stadium in Calabar.
Also in the city for the flagship event of the AFN are the general secretary of the federation, Maria Worphil, with her entire secretariat staff; the technical director, Omatseye Nesiama; as well as a number of board members including Falilat Ogunkoya Omotayo, the first Nigerian athlete to win an individual Olympic medal as well as multiple award-winning journalist, Olukayode Thomas.
Worphil, a former national handball star, told the media on arrival in Calabar, Monday, that the relocation of the AFN secretariat to Calabar shows how big the championship is to them.
“This is the flagship event of the federation and it requires the presence of all our key staff. This is our World Championships where the best of Nigerian athletics will be showcased in terms of performance and administration,” she said.
This year’s championships will be used to select Nigeria’s representatives to the 14th IAAF World Championships in Athletics which holds this August in Moscow, Russia.
Already a number of top Nigerian track and field stars have arrived Calabar for the event.
They include sprinters Gloria Asumnu and Ogho-Oghene Egwero, who last Friday, won the 100m events at the Warri Relays/Confederation of African Athletics, CAA, Grand Prix; quarter milers, Biola Onakoya and Noah Akwu, who both docked inside 46 seconds last Friday in Warri to prepare for a spectacular showdown in Calabar on Thursday; as well as 400m barrier runner, Ajoke Odumosu.