Athletics: Vida Anim for Warri Grand Prix
6/12/2012 5:30:40 PM -
Ghana,s female sprint queen Vida Anim will join other 60 athletes for this year's Warri Relay and CAA Athletics Grand Prix scheduled for Thursday, June 14 in Warri, Delta State.
Sixty-one entries have been received from over 20 countries to participate at this year's Warri Relay and CAA Athletics Grand Prix.Some of the countries where these athletes are coming from include; USA, Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent, Egypt, Cameroon, Botswana, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal,Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia and Uganda.
According to the Coordinator of the Meet, Yusuf Alli, most of the athletes expected at the one-day event have started arriving Nigeria with the last batch scheduled to coming into town Wednesday.
'We are almost set to have a good Meet in Warri on Thursday, June 14. Most of the athletes we are expecting have arrived and the rest will be coming on Wednesday afternoon,' said the former captain of Team Nigeria.
Cameroonian Delphine Atangana is expected to compete in the 100m along with Lakadrin Ivey (USA), Lahsawandra Ratcitt (USA) and Tameka Williams of St. Kitts.
Nigerian female sprinters like Lauretta Ozoh, Agnes Osazuwa and Endurance Abinuwa are all in town from the United States to compete at the Meet.
Only top runners like Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumnu and Damola Osayomi who have races abroad same weekend may not be able to make it to Warri.
African high jump champion, Doreen Amata is also on the line to test her readiness to defend her title at the next African Senior Athletics Championships slated for Port Novo, Benin Republic.
In the male category, all the top sprinters and quarter milers from Nigeria's training camp in Atlanta, USA, have confirmed their willingness to race in Warri on Thursday.
Meanwhile, two-time All Africa Games high jump champion, Doreen Amata has confirmed she will be in Calabar next week to defend her national title at the 68th Cross River State/All Nigeria Open Athletics Championships scheduled to hold at the U.J Esuene Stadium.
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 says there is no cause for alarm.
''I will be available to defend the title I reclaimed last year. I am fit and battle ready'', starts the woman 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.
Amata is confident she will retain her title in Calabar and looks forward to the 18th African Championships in Athletics in Port Novo in a fortnight as well as the Olympic Games in London.
''I will be competing first at the Warri CAA Grand Prix later this week. I intend to prove my fitness and battle-readiness there ahead of the Calabar championships'', she said.
Meanwhile 400m barrier runner, Amaechi Morton at the weekend in Des Moines, Iowa raced to a new 48.79 seconds new personal best to win the gold medal at the National Collegiate of Athletics Association (NCAA) Championships and reinforced his credentials as one of the favourites for a podium appearance in London in August at the London Olympics.
He is currently the sixth fastest 400m barrier runner in the world this year.
Amaechi changed allegiance from his country of birth, United States of America to his mother's country, Nigeria in 2009 after he was persuaded to do so by respected athletics coach and former track and field international, Patience Itanyi.
Amaechi is yet to tell Nigerian athletics officials if he will be donning the green and white colours in London like he did three years ago in Berlin, Germany at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
He claimed he was badly treated by top athletics officials after he was alleged to have spoilt the chances of the men's 4x400m relay team at the championships.
Story by Ghana/ Tony Bebli/ Joy Sports