400 Athletes to Storm Ozoro for Awoture Eleyae Championship


Organisers of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae Under-15 Open Athletics Championship are looking forward to an elaborate event this year, with over 400 young athletes from 25 local government areas of Delta State expected to storm Ozoro in the Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State next week.

Arrival date for the 7th edition of the championship is June 18, while competition will hold between June 19 and 20.

The Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship has produced notable athletes for the Nigeria since its inception, including 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist in the long jump, Ese Brume (2013), sprinter Divine Oduduru (2014) and quarter-miler, Praise Idamadudu (2015). Oduduru made history recently by winning his first NCAA sprint double, clocking 9.86 seconds in the 100m to become second African runner to achieve this feat.

His 9.86 second is the second-fastest time in NCAA history.

Other athletes who are products of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championships includes Usheoritse Itsekiri, who just secured qualification for Doha 2019 World Championship, blazing to a Personal Best of 10.07 seconds to win the men’s 100m at the 55th International Whitsum Festival in Rehilingen, Germany as well as Raymond Ekevwo, who broke his Personal Best record in the 100m with a big Lifetime Best of 10.02s to finish 2nd in the men’s 100m final at the 2019 South Eastern Conference (SEC) Championships in USA on May 11.

Ekevwo is among the three Nigerian male sprinters alongside Oduduru and Itsekiri to qualify for the World Championship in Doha.

Immediate past President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba said yesterday that this year’s edition of the competition would be more colourful.

“We are trying to put together one of the best age-grade athletics competition for our youths to sharpen their skills and also prepare for the challenges ahead.”

The Secretary of Delta State Athletics Association, Emuobo Egalasi, also confirmed yesterday that everything needed to make the event successful had been put in place.

The competition is in honour of Dr. Eleyae, a former Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa, for his contributions to the nation’s athletics.

Eleyae is called the doyen of Nigerian sports for his production of various former stars, including Sam Igun, David Ejoke, A.K Amun, Emilia Edet, Violet Odogwu-Nwajei and Modupe Oshikoya.