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Nigeria’s best athletes storm Benin City for Olympics trials

The 2024 national trials to select track and field stars for both the African Senior Athletics Championships in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be the biggest event in the history of athletics in the country, U.S.-based Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s (AFN) Performance Director, Victor Okorie, has declared.

The AFN national trials will hold from June 16 to 18 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State, while the African Senior Athletics Championships in Douala will run from June 21 to 26.

Shortly after both events, Team Nigeria will embark on an overseas training tour on July 1 ahead of the Olympic Games.

Already, some U.S.-based athletes, including Justine Jimoh, a junior star, who is coming to Benin City to battle for a ticket to the World U-20 Championships, will arrive in the country today.

Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, from his base in the United States, Okorie, a former African Games 400 metres hurdles silver medalists, stated that some of the big stars, including sprinter Favour Ashe, and Samuel Ogazi, will depart the U.S. today and arrive in Nigeria tomorrow.

“This is an Olympics year and I can tell you that the AFN national trials in Benin City will be one of the biggest ever in history of athletics in Nigeria. All the athletes are so enthusiastic about this year’s trials.

“Apart from the athletes, many coaches here in the United States are eagerly waiting to be part of the event. And from the feelers I am getting from home, the AFN is putting things in place to ensure a smooth event,” he stated.

Okorie hinted that apart from established athletes like Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Favour Ofili, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Godson Brume, Udodi Onwuzurike, and Ruth Usoro, among others,