Ese Brume, the Nigerian and African long jump record holder, will be joined by sprinter Favour Ofili, 400m barrier runner Nathaniel Ezekiel, and javelin thrower Nnamdi Prosper in Benin for Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championship trials, which begin next week.
So far this year, Ofili has been in outstanding form, setting new national records in the 200m indoor (22.46s) and outdoor (22.46s) events (21.96s).
The 19-year-old, who won silver in the 200m at the 2022 NCAA indoor and outdoor championships, is also the fastest Nigerian woman this year and will be one of the stars to watch when the tournament starts.
Nathaniel, a Baylor University freshman who improved from 51 seconds to 49.89 seconds in the 400m hurdles in the World U20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi two months ago, will also be the center of attention.
This year, the 18-year-old broke Henry Amike’s 35-year-old Nigeria record (48.50s) and set an African U20 mark, establishing him as a world-class athlete.
Nnamdi will also compete in the Javelin, where he is the current national champion. The 19-year-old broke Pius Bazighe’s national record of 81.08m by 14cm (81.22m) and will be defending his national title as well as confirming his seat on the World Athletics Championships plane to Oregon.
Tobiloba Amusan, the reigning African and Nigerian 100m hurdles champion (12.42s), is due to arrive in Nigeria this weekend, as is shot putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, the reigning African Games and African championships champion.
Ruth Usoro, a triple jumper who won silver at the 2022 NCAA Championships, will arrive in Benin as the current Nigerian record holder in the event (14.50m). Chioma Onyekwere, the African Games and African Championships champion, will defend her national title as the Nigerian record holder (63.30m).
The 2022 Nigerian athletics championships will serve as selection trials for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.