The third edition of the Making of Champions (MoC) Grand Prix will be held on April 2and 3, 2021, according to organisers of the event.
All sports endured a difficult 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but athletes in Nigeria now have something to prepare for after MoC announced the dates for the largest annual athletics competition in Nigeria aside from the national trials.
A statement issued by the organisers said Yabatech Sports Complex in Lagos will host the two-day event.
Since the inaugural edition in 2018, the MoC Grand Prix has become one of the most important fixtures in the annual calendar of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The AFN are MoC’s technical partner for the event, ensuring that all races are timed electronically, and all results ratified and recognissed globally by the IAAF.
At a media parley organised by the MoC on Thursday to announce the return of the event, Bambo Akani, the CEO and founder said, “It’s good to be back.”
“We’re very glad that the MoC Grand Prix can make a return for the third edition. Obviously, this was meant to happen in 2020, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t able to happen in May, then December, so we are really pleased that it can now return for Nigerian athletes and athletes everywhere in April 2021.
“The MoC Grand Prix holds an added importance this year because it will serve as an Olympic-qualifying event and we’re looking forward to helping as many Nigerian athletes as possible qualify for the Olympics. We’re calling on corporate sponsors across Nigeria to join in this effort to support Nigeria’s Olympic hopes, especially in the midst of the coronavirus crisis,” he added.
The event will feature about 30 track and field disciplines across the sprints, jumps, throws, hurdles and relays.
The two-day event will strictly observe the Sports Ministry’s COVID-19 protocols and a final list of invited athletes will be released after an initial one-month registration period for interested athletes has closed.
With World Athletics Rankings being used for the first time to determine Olympic qualification, MoC Partnerships Manager, Evans Emmanuel, disclosed that the MoC Grand Prix is part of an intended series of five Olympic qualifying competitions across Nigeria from March to June tagged the ‘MoC Athletics Challenge’ and that discussions with potential sponsors were already ongoing.
“We have already had several positive discussions with prospective sponsors for the 3rd MoC Grand Prix–there has been a lot of interest in supporting Olympic-qualifying events that will help Nigeria’s Athletes triumph over the global pandemic and propel the nation to our best Olympic showing since Atlanta ’96. We are looking forward to unveiling these sponsors as they join our events in the coming weeks,” Mr Emmanuel added.
About 400 athletes, including several national champions and Commonwealth Games medal winners from Gold Coast 2018, attended the first edition of the MoC Grand Prix in 2018, while the number of participants increased to 500 at the second edition.
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