Okon thrilled with athletes performance at AFN All-Comers

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Performance Director, Gabriel Okon is thrilled with the performances of athletes at the AFN All-Comers competition held in Akure at the weekend and says the future is bright for track and field in Nigeria.

 A sizeable number of athletes ran new personal bests on the track in their first competitive race of the year and Okon believes it is a positive sign of what to come if the athletes are given the motivation and training that they need. ‘The performances at the AFN All-Comers event blew my mind. Imagine having athletes running that fast in only the first competition of the year.

This is great encouragement for us at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to provide more competitions for them so that they can perform to their optimal best,’said Okon who has coached Team Nigeria track and field athletes to several Olympics and World Athletics Championships. Ifeanyi Ojeli of Making of Champions track club ran a first ever sub 21 seconds of his young career,racing past the finish line in 20.94 seconds.

 The performance shot him to the top of the list of Nigerian performances released on Tuesday by the AFN and the fifth fastest in the world so far this year. Ojeli continued from where he stopped last year when he ran 45.91 seconds in the 400m,his first quarter mile race inside 46 seconds when just about a year earlier, he was struggling with a 46.9 seconds.

Another athlete who ran a new personal best is Favour Ofili,the University of Port Harcourt undergraduate student who improved her time in the 200m from 23.24 seconds achieved in 2019 to 23.07 seconds in only her first race in 2020. Ofili is now the fastest Nigerian 200m athlete so far this year and the second fastest in the world. She looks on course to becoming the eighth Nigerian woman to run a sub-51 seconds over the 400m in the Nigerian all-time list.

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