Nigeria backtracks on basketball withdrawal

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Four African countries, Ghana, Botswana, Togo and Benin Republic are set to take part in the relay events, such as the national trials organized by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to select athletes for the World Championships Oregon 2022 and the Commonwealth Games in England. starts tomorrow in Benin City.
Tidesports has learned that only the Nigerian women’s 4x100m and mixed relay teams have qualified for Oregon 2022, while the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams have yet to qualify, as well as the women’s 4x400m relay team.
An official has hinted that the Nigerian women’s 4x100m and mixed relay teams also need to improve their current rankings to secure qualification, as the country is currently ranked 16th in both events, meaning the country is in last place in qualification.
According to an AFN official, the four countries, Ghana, Botswana, Togo and Benin Republic want to use the AFN national trials in Benin City to strengthen their relay teams.
“We expect these four countries to arrive in Lagos today (yesterday). Maybe one or two more countries will join us on Friday,” the official said.
Meanwhile, defending African Games 100m champion Raymond Ekevwo and defending U20 World Championships in Athletics 200m kings Udodi Onwuzurike will be among the six highest-ranked athletes looking to make part of the national team for the first time at the 2022 Nigerian Athletics Championships in Benin.
Ekevwo and Onwuzurike will face off in the short sprint, the latter topping the Nigerian 100m list with the 10.03 seconds he ran earlier this month.
Onwuzurike will compete in his first national championships and will also be aiming for the 200m title, where he is the heavy favorite.
Sprinters Favor Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Rosemary Chukwuma are also aiming for their first titles.
Ashe holds the personal best time of the season in 10.04 in the 100m and won a silver medal in that event at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this month in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Akintola, the defending National Sports Festival 200m champion, will also be in contention for his first title in the history of the Nigerian Championships.
Like Ashe and Ekevwo, Akintola also holds the season personal best of 10.04 seconds achieved this year.
Chukwuma, a two-time Africa Youth Games and Africa Under-20 champion, is also chasing her first national title in the sprint event. With Favor Ofili’s confirmed absence, Chukwuma will see Tokyo Olympics semi-finalist Grace Nwokocha compete in the 100m and 200m events. Nwokocha is the defending champion in the U-turn race.
Ezekiel Nathaniel, runner in the 400m barrier, is also waiting to step onto the podium as national champion, who ran in 48.42 seconds last month to break Henry Amike’s 35-year record in the 400m hurdles. The athlete, who turned 19 on Tuesday, is waiting to be crowned Nigerian champion for the first time.
Local girl Tima Godbless will also be dreaming of surpassing US-based duo Chukwuma and Nwokocha after going from 11.48 seconds achieved last year to 11.25 seconds in the 100m at the 22nd Olympics. African Athletics in Mauritius about a week ago.


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