Team Nigeria is raring to go at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Kampala 2017, which holds this Sunday in the Eastern African country.
According to the organisers, Kampala 2017 is the biggest World Cross Country Championships in over a decade.
This assertion is based on the number of countries and athletes that have entered and ready to fight for honours in the now biennial endurance race.
A roster of nine athletes will be flying Nigeria’s flag in Kampala with all registered in the senior category.
In the female section, Obilor Lorine, Naomi Yunana, Hannah Adewale, Unity Amos and Rose Lange are on parade for Nigeria and would be slugging it out with the rest of the world.
In the male section, Husamatu Sanusi, Nanribet Raymond, Danjuma Stephen and Awal Gochin will all ve taking a shot at honours in the Senior Men’s category.
Team Nigeria’s participation at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala was facilitated by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
Mr. Buratai, a Lt. Gen., aside offsetting the traveling expenses of Team Nigeria to Uganda, will also be paying the country’s representatives bonuses and allowances all targeted at motivating them to be at their best in Uganda having only lost the African edition narrowly in Cameroon.
Speaking on the gesture by the Army Chief, the president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba, thanked Mr. Buratai for his support for sports especially athletics.
“I must say we are very grateful to the Chief of Army Staff for his immense support all round and more importantly to the long-distance runners,” Mr. Ogba began.
“We are very happy that Nigeria will be represented in Uganda and I can also assure all that beyond attending the World Cross Country Championships, we as a federation will do all to resuscitate this culture in Nigeria.
“Even beyond the federation, we want our schools to imbibe this culture of cross country because it is actually a healthy habit,” the AFN boss added.
A total of US$310,000 in prize money will be awarded by the IAAF to the leading runners in the senior races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 on Sunday.
Winners of the individual men’s and women’s races will each earn US$30,000, with money paid out to the top six finishers.
In total, US$140,000 is on offer in the two senior races.
In the team contest in both senior races, there is another prize pool of US$140,000, with US$20,000 going to the winning team, with prizes awarded to sixth place in both races, where the pay out by the IAAF is US$4000.
There is also a total prize pool of US$30,000 on offer for the inaugural relay race, with US$12,000 earmarked for the winning team.