Athletics Federation of Nigeria AFN) chief, Sunday Adeleye, has confirmed that 37 athletes will represent Team Nigeria in the Athletics event of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia scheduled for April.
Adeleye, who is the body’s Technical Director, made this known in a telephone chat with the Punch Newspapers as he added that the athletes were selected from the Commonwealth Games Trials in Abuja last week.
Athletes expected on the 37-man list include Patience Okon-George, Glory Nathaniel, hammer thrower Queen Obisesan, Kelechi Nwanaga, 400m champion Emmanuel Bamidele, Orukpe Erayokan and Yinka Ajayi.
Sunday Adeleye also ruled out America-based Divine Oduduru and Cyprus-based Ese Brume before expressing optimism that hurdler Tobi Amusan would run at the Games.
In his words, Adeleye said: “We are working on the list of athletes, who will represent us at the Games and the list will be released immediately we are through. We are working on it to ensure that everyone on the list deserves to be there.”
“We are going to Australia with 37 athletes, who are mostly qualified and we are sure cam compete favourably for medals at the Games because Nigeria won’t be in Australia to add to the numbers.” he added.
Speaking further, Adeleye said: “Oduduru is not going to the Games because he is on scholarship and schooling in the US. Since we are not the ones sponsoring him and paying his bills, we cannot tell him to neglect the programme of the school for the Commonwealth Games.”
“For Ese, she won’t be going because we don’t have much update on her performance this season. She didn’t come for the trials and we haven’t seen her compete in events on the international scene so far. We want to select athletes on current form and give everyone a fair chance to make the Games.
“We are expecting Tobi Amusan to come because she is now a professional and if her schedule can allow her come, we will be glad.” he concluded.