Nigeria eyeing for impressive performance as World Under-20 kicks off in Cali
- The World U-20 Championships will run from August 1 to 8 in Cali, Colombia.
- Cali had already hosted the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics.
- Nathaniel Ezekiel who did not make it to the podium in Nairobi last year is making come back to Cali, Colombia.
The World Under-20 Championships began on 1st August in Cali Colombia and Nigeria is among the African Countries that will be participating in the event full of young talents ready to showcase it through the different sporting events.
Team Nigeria through Tonobok Okowa, the president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria is hopeful that this time round they will record better performance unlike they’ve done at previous events this year.
“These World U-20 Championships are like our breeding ground, most of our top stars today have always graduated from the championships to become top athletes in the world,” Okowa said.
Okowa termed their last year’s Under 20 championship performance as impressive saying they’ve now grown to become better and they are looking forward to better results.
“Last year, we had an impressive outing at the U-20 Championships in Nairobi, where we achieved an unprecedented feat. Some of the athletes have now grown to become top stars and Nigeria’s national record holders today.
“Favour Ofili has grown to become the fastest Nigerian ever in the 200m event (21.96) after winning three medals in Nairobi while Nnamdi Chinacherem Prosper is now Nigeria’s record holder in Javelin Throw (81.22m).
He noted that some of their best athletes including Nathaniel Ezekiel who did not make it to the podium in Nairobi last year are making come back to Cali, Colombia.
“Last year, Nathaniel Ezekiel didn’t make it to the podium but he is today the Nigeria record holder in the 400m hurdles, breaking a 35-year-old record set by Henry Amike at the 1987 World Athletics Championships in Rome, Italy”.
He reiterated the importance of these athletics platforms saying the exposure acquired from these events is key not only to the athletes but also to the teams.
“The exposure of the athletes is key to us. Some of the World and Olympic medalists we have produced never made it to the podium at the World U-20 championships, but they built on that exposure to become medalists at global championships and Games.”
The World U-20 Championships will run from August 1 to 8 in Cali, Colombia.
Cali had already hosted the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics.