Sports Minister, Chief Sunday Dare and the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa were excited by the performance of the athletes, as the 3rd AFN All Comers came to a spectacular end yesterday in Abuja.
One of the major highlights of the event was Johnson Nnamani’s 46.24s new personal best run in the men’s 400meters. 18-year-old Nnamani, a member of the gold winning Team Nigeria mixed relay quartet at the World U20 Championship in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, needed to run faster than the 46.66seconds he ran in Lagos last month at the second edition of the competition to win again in Abuja.
His time is the fifth fastest time ran by a Nigerian quartermiler this year, moving ahead of Sikiru Adeyemi whose 46.36seconds he ran last February in Ijebu Ode, had placed him as the fifth fastest after Emmanuel Bamidele (45.25s), Dubem Amene (46.06s), Samson Nathaniel (46.05) and Ezekiel Nathaniel (46.20s).
Apart from the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, AFN President, Tonobock Okowa, some other dignitaries, including two-time former president of the AFN, Solomon Ogba and former Olympian, Yusuf Alli, were on ground to cheer the athletes yesterday.
Okowa stated that he was delightful with the performance of the athletes saying: “I am confident the future is bright for Nigerian athletics. You can see that a number of our athletes, especially the junior ones, have kept improving. We just saw Nnamani today. Praise Ofokwu has also set a new personal best as well as a large number of others who are teenagers and have been improving in geometrical proportion,” Okowa stated.
On his part, Yusuf Alli, who was recently appointed as the Coordinator of Team Nigeria for the 2022 Commonwealth Games holding in Birmingham, England, urged the athletes to continue to improve on their performances.