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Nigerians eye sprints medals sweep

By | July 22nd 2010

By James Waindi

Nigeria is confident of dominating the sprints when the African Senior Athletics Championships get under way Nairobi next week.

The team of 18 athletes and six officials shared the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani with the Kenyan team in training yesterday as lack of venues continued to hinder athletes’ preparation.

Head coach Gad Onumaegbu said they expected 12 more athletes at the weekend, and vowed to sweep all the medals in the sprints.

"We have athletes who will compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, long jump, triple jump, hummer, shot put and all the relays.

"We have two medallists at the moment, James Godday who won bronze in Addis Ababa in the 400m two years ago and Samuel Okon who won silver in the 110m hurdles, but more are coming and we also have very good upcoming athletes," said Onumaegbu.

Onumaegbu said the weather condition suited them but rued lack of enough training venues noting that opponents would pick some their skills when they trained together.

"This weather is good for our athletes, but we don’t like the issue that we have to share the same training venue with our rivals, because someone may pick your secrets," said Onumaegbu.

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Okon who won Silver in Addis two years ago in a time of 14.0 said he was confident of bagging gold this time round, noting that he was his only threat.

"I lost the 2008 gold medal to a South African after I hit a hurdle with my leg that slowed me down, but this time I’m going gold. My season best is 13.68 which I ran last month in Lagos during our Classic and I plan to improve on it," Okon said.

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