As many as six African Games and African Athletics Championship champions are among the athletes expected in Benin next week to battle for tickets to next month’s World Athletics Championship in Oregon, USA and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Athletics Federation of Nigeria head of media, Oludare Esan revealed that the reigning African champions will be led by Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, the African Games and African Championship gold medalist and competitions record holder.
‘Raymond Ekevwo who won the 100m gold at the African Games in 2019 in Rabat is also confirmed and will be battling not just for the ticket but also his first national title in the blue ribband event,’ said Esan.
Continuing, Esan says Olympics, World and Commonwealth Games medallist and reigning African Games long jump queen, Ese Brume will also be in Benin as she bids for her fifth national title in the event and secure the ticket to Oregon where she will be hoping to become the first Nigerian woman to win two World Championship individual medals in two editions.
‘Tobi Amusan who won the 100m hurdles title last week in Mauritius will also be around to defend the sprint hurdles title she won at the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba last year.
Amusan is also the reigning African Games champion and record holder.
Others are Oyesade Olatoye, the African Games shot put champion who won a historic hammer gold for Nigeria at the 22nd African championship last week in Mauritius.’
The AFN media chief says the Commonwealth Games and World championship trials in Benin will also have in attendance Chioma Onyekwere, the reigning African Games and African championship discuss throw champion.
Onyekwere set a new 59.91m Games record to win the African Games gold in 2019.
Two other African Games champions yet to be confirmed for the Benin championship are triple jumper Grace Anigbata and Javelin thrower Kelechi Nwanaga.
‘Both have met the qualification standard for the Commonwealth Games and World championship trials and we will know before the end of the week if they will be flying in from the USA for the championship,’ said Esan.
The Nigeria championships which will serve as the Commonwealth Games and World Championship trials will hold from June 21 to June 23 in Benin City, Edo state.