Warri to host world athletics today
Athletes from USA, Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis,St. Vincent, Egypt, Cameroon, Botswana, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia andUganda are competing today in Warri.
The competition is the brain-child of Athletics Federation of Nigeria President, Solomon Ogba who is a great admirer of the American Penn and Texas relays.
Thursday’s fiesta also incorporates the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Grand Prix which upgrades it to an Olympic qualification meet.
The warri competition is an avenue for the top athletes to compete for honours before heading down to Calabar for the final Olympic selection trials.
There will be the women high jump, where two-time All Africa Games high jump champion, Doreen Amata will begin to look over her shoulder for Uhunoma Osazuwa, a national heptathlon record holder who cleared 1.84m at a meet in Canadato last montgh.
Amata, who last year in Maputo, Mozambique successfully defended the high jump title she won in 2007 at the Algiers All Africa Games has been struggling with injury since the start of the season but the mother of one insists there is no cause for alarm.
“ I am fit and battle ready’’, observed the athlete who is on record as the first Nigerian woman high jumper to make it to the finals of the prestigious IAAF World Championships in Athletics last year in Daegu, South Korea.
“Things have not particularly gone as I wished it to be this season, especially after I came back from childbirth to have what is definitely my best season last year,’’ continued Amata who holds the national record at 1.95m and has been dubbed Nigeria’s greatest high jumper of all time.