Trials for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA, and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom have been rescheduled by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The trials will now take place in Benin, Edo, from June 24 to 26.
According to the AFN, the decision was made to accommodate all competitors who had expressed an interest in competing in the championships and had met the event’s admission requirements.
Nigeria’s prospects of fielding teams in all five relays at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, according to AFN technical director Samuel Onikeku, will improve as a result of the change.
“The purpose of the championships this year is to select the best legs for the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games,” Onikeku said.
“This informed our decision to change the dates for the Nigeria Championships. We have to get our best athletes ready to get the relay tickets.
“As a responsive federation, we have to accommodate athletes who can only arrive this weekend due to flight connections to have a few days of rest.
“Only the women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay teams have qualified for Oregon. The men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams are yet to qualify as well as the women’s 4x400m relay team,” added Onikeku.
He also believes Nigeria will win medals the women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay teams will also need to improve on their current ranking now to guarantee qualification.
“Nigeria is ranked 16th in both events which means we are occupying the last qualification spot. This does not give us the guarantee we will still be in Oregon in those relay events.”