Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blood Test For All Athletes In Daegu -IAAF




The IAAF will collect blood samples from ALL athletes taking part in the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in an unprecedented anti-doping programme.
This programme will be conducted in close co-operation with the Lausanne WADA-accredited Anti-Doping Laboratory (LAD) and with the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a number of local partners including the Daegu Local Organizing Committee, the Korean Anti-Doping Agency and the Doping Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.
The blood testing programme in Daegu is being organized in addition to the regular doping controls that are collected at a World Championships (in Daegu, approximately 500 urine samples shall be collected in and out-of-competition combined).

What is the blood testing programme?

Blood samples will be collected from all athletes participating in the World Championships.
The samples will mainly be collected at a purpose-built doping control station located in the Athlete’s village starting from 18 August 2011.
The samples will be analyzed by the LAD on-site in Daegu for a first haematological screening analysis and after the end of the Championships in Lausanne for further analyses.
The analyses by the LAD will focus on measuring relevant parameters (biomarkers) for individual profiling purposes within the framework of the Athlete Biological Passport.
The fundamental principle of the Athlete Biological Passport is based on the monitoring of an athlete’s biomarkers over time.  The focus is not on the detection of prohibited substances or methods themselves, as for traditional doping tests, but on proving the use and effect of these substances and methods by way of abnormal variations in an athlete’s biomarkers that would otherwise be stable.
As one of the leading International Sport Federations in the fight against doping, the IAAF has fully engaged in the implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport at an early stage since it believes it to be a key tool in the modern fight against doping.

Why is this programme unprecedented?

It will be the first time that a heterogeneous population of nearly 2000 elite athletes competing in a major sports event will be blood tested under the same optimal conditions, within the same time period.
The blood testing will cover all disciplines in Athletics and a wide range of relevant biomarkers.  Notably, the analyses will not only screen markers indicating the use of EPO or blood manipulation in endurance events (as has been the IAAF’s practice to date) but also markers potentially indicating steroid or growth hormone doping more relevant to the power disciplines.
The data collected will therefore constitute a unique database of reference ranges for various biomarkers in elite male and female athletes competing in different disciplines and from different ethnical backgrounds. The IAAF considers this to constitute a major step forwards in the development of the Athlete Biological Passport in the sport of Athletics and indeed the Athlete Biological Passport generally.

What will the IAAF do with the results?

The results will be used:
(i) As a first “fingerprint” for athletes with no previous records at the IAAF;

(ii) To build upon already existing athlete profiles recorded and followed at the IAAF;

(iii) To establish the reference ranges of relevant biomarkers in a heterogeneous population of elite male and female athletes.

How will the IAAF follow-up on the results?

Suspicious results from the screening analyses performed on-site could, where appropriate, trigger follow-up target tests in Daegu in urine (notably for EPO) and/or further analyses for prohibited substances or prohibited methods in blood in Lausanne.
All results can ultimately be used in support of an anti-doping rule violation if an athlete’s overall biological profile is found to be consistent with the use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method, in accordance with IAAF Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations.

Culled from iaaf.org

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

IAAF World Championship: AFN Sure Of 17 Selected Athletes



  
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has listed seventeen athletes comprising of fourteen females and four men to represent the country in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships coming up from the 27th August to 4th September in Daegu, South Korea.
According to the President of the federation, Chief Solomon Ogba, athletes selected are medal prospect as the World Championship is not a jamboree.
In the list released Tuesday by the media officer of the federation, Duro Ikhazuegbe, Africa track queen, Blessing Okagbare will be competing in the 100m 4x100m and Long Jump events. Former US sprinter, Gloria Asunmu who debuted in Nigeria during the national trials in Calaber will run in the 100m and 4x100m while Damola Osayomi will also be on track for the 100m and 4x100m.
Included on the list are, Africa hurdles champion, Seun Adigun 100m hurdle and 4x100m, University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) track sensation, Endurance Abinuwa goes for 4x100m. Agnes Osazuwa 4x100m, Bukola Abogunloko  4x400m, Margaret Etim  4x400m, Ajoke Odumosu 400m hurdle and 4x400m, Blessing Mayungbe 4x400m, Chizoba Okodogbe 4x400m, Omolara Omotosho Shot Put, Doreen Amata High Jump, Ogho Oghene Egwero 100m, Peter Emelieze 100m, Stanley Gbagbeke  Long Jump and Africa and Commonwealth Games triple jump champion, Tosin Oke is also on the list.

Tosin Oke’s Dazzling Rise To Stardom







Nigeria’s Triple Jump hero, Tosin Oke gave a glimpse of what Nigerians should expect at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo when he jumped a season’s best of 17.21m at the 59th edition of the London Samsung Diamond League. The lift placed him in the second position after American Christian Taylor recorded 17.68m to win the gold and another Nigerian-born British star Idowu Phillips came third with 17.07m. Taylor produced a personal best while Oke produced a season’s best to upset defending world champion Idowu on a good day for Nigerian athletes at the Crystal Palace Diamond League meet which ended on Saturday.
The U.S. champion and Idowu were lavishly celebrated by the media in their respective countries but Oke went home an unsung hero. He did not make frontpage news in Nigeria like his counterparts. Even the American and British media simply made passing reference to his feat while the British newspapers canonized Christie Ohuruogu who came last in the 400m women. 
Tosin Oke deserves all the epithets and accolades in the English lexicon especially with his carriage and confidence at the London Diamond Meet as he gave the American and his compatriot, Idowu a run for their money. It was unfortunate that he could not leap over the 17.68m record of the American but it was obvious that his intention was to dust the champion and edge his name in gold like he did at the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
At 31, Oke’s rise from a Cambridge rookie in 1997 to world’s top five is phenomenon. His case becomes a classic example of rugged determination to catch a niche for one self when he chose to dump Britain where he had brightest future to pit his tent with his fatherland, Nigeria where our heroes are usually not worshipped or hardly celebrated like the western world. Since 2008 that he declared his interest in competing for his country of origin, Nigeria, it has been a case of leaping from grace to grace.
In the 2010 season, Tosin jumped a series of personal bests indoors, finishing with 16.89m in Birmingham. In his finest season so far, he went on to win the 2010 African Championships in Nairobi, Kenya with a personal best jump of 17.22m, 1 cm off the Championship record, and to top it off, became the 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion in New Delhi, India with his second furthest jump ever—17.16m.
The longest standing national record in track and field in Nigeria is the leap of 17.26 m in the triple jump event set by Ajayi Agbebaku almost three decades ago in Edmonton, Canada and we have the strong conviction that the current African and national champion can surpass the mark pretty soon, as the London-based jumper’s swan-sung has been winning medals for the country and himself as his top priority.
We are particularly happy that Nigeria stands a pole position at the All Africa Games in Maputo. Baring injury, nothing can stop the guy from the podium while the whole of Maputo stands still for the Nigerian National Anthem after he must have broken the Games record.
With athletes like Tosin, Chika Chukwumerije, Blessing Okagbare and a host of others, Team Nigeria appear set for another record breaking outing at the All Africa Games irrespective of the evil machination of South Africa.
With 17.21m, Oke remains one of Nigeria's biggest prospects for a medal at both the All African Games in Mozambique where he will make his debut as well as the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Aware that coming tops in Maputo will not be a stroll in the pack like it was in Calabar, Oke already has his eyes on his ‘closest rivals' and his plans well cut out. There is a South African guy, Mokoena Khotso, who is coming back to the triple jump, so he is going to be on his radar. He was a silver medalist in the long jump at the World Championships, so Oke should see him as biggest rival. There was also the Cameroonian who came second during the Commonwealth Games, but the main thing is the World Championships. Getting to the finals and trying to get a medal will be a morale booster to the AAG with the euphoria of the World Championships.
Looking at the journey so far, it won’t be out of place to say that Nigerians aren’t seen nothing yet. The sky may not be able to limit for him.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Athletics Africa Is Seven




AthleticsAfrica.com will celebrates its seventh year anniversary on July 25, 2011.
As London prepares to mark the One-Year milestone to the kick-off of the 2012 Olympics Games on Tuesday July 26th, Athletics Africa will also be launching the 'Mission 2 London' series as part of the celebration.
The website will undergo a dramatic makeover in the coming weeks with a new section dedicated to the Olympics project which was designed to give a dedicated coverage and publicity to African athletes and Olympic hopefuls in the run-up to the Games.
The Editor of Athletics Africa, Yomi Omogbeja said: “We had come a long way from what was initially an MA in Journalism project in 2004 to a full-fledged online news website and magazine today, providing the much needed African track and field information and analysis to audiences both in Africa and the Diaspora.
“We have made a strong case for the promotion and development of athletics at the grass roots level in Africa, and in a few years the site had become the hub of the continent’s track and field discussions, providing 24 hours, 7 days a week news and information, events contacts, analysis and coverage.
The website provides exclusive videos and images of African track and field events and competitions. It also has a strong features and news section.
“So far, we have average monthly user visits of over 400,000 and average click-through rates of 150,000. We also have a vibrant facebook community with over 2,270 fans and growing.
“The 'Mission 2 London' series both online and in the Quarterly Athletics Africa Magazine would highlight African athletes as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics in summer 2012. The series would give a dedicated coverage and publicity to African stars and other Olympic hopefuls in the run-up to the Games.
The 'Mission 2 London' series is expected to start running on our website from September 2011 and would be up till August 2012,” Omogbeja concluded.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ajunwa Fights Against Drugs In Sports



Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajuwan Oparah, who started a campaign fighting against the use of drugs by athletes, has reiterated the need for Nigeria athletes to shun drugs saying it will destroy their career,
In a paper presented to the athletes at the end of the AFN/Desicon Golden League 4th meeting at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos state during the weekend and titled “The Disadvantages Of Taking Of illegal Drugs In Sports”, Ajunwa said being her 5th presentation in the series since she started the foundation, fighting drugs has become a part of her as it will help the athletes tremendously.
While revealing some drugs commonly use by the athletes such as Alcohol, Amphetamines, Anabolic Steroids, Caffeine, Cannabis, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Inhalants, Nicotine, Opiates, Phencyclidine, Seductive, Hypnotic or Atntianxiety drugs, Ajunwa maintained that all these drugs are all common with sports people.
Using herself as an example, Ajunwa advised that it is more honorable to lose without doping than to indulge in drugs abuse, all in the quest to win because when caught, such athletes will be on their own as the government and nobody will come to their aid.
The Nigeria Police Officer advised that to reduce or terminate the adverse effects of doping, drug education testing programs on its abuse should be intensified by various global agencies.
She also said government should make it a priority to test athletes before embarking on any international competition and also to look into the possibilities of applying stiffer penalties as a deterrent to athletes and official involved in it.
She concluded by saying athletes should note that it is only in drugs issues that there are no “advantage, everything about illegal drug abuse in sports is disadvantageous.”

6 African Countries For AFN/Mobil/Cross River Championship



Six African countries have signified interest to partake in this year’s edition of the annual AFN/Mobil/Cross River Track and Field Championships which comes up from the June 23rd to 25th in Calaber, Cross River State.
Confirming this at the weekend, Technical/Performance Director of the AFN, Sunday Bada said Ethiopia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Cameroon have all signal their interest to participate in the competition.
Bada said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has sanctioned the competition as a scoring event to qualify for the World Championship coming up in Deagu, Korea in August this year.
He added that the countries will use the competition to qualify their 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams.
“I can confirm that six Africa countries will be taking part in this year’s edition of the AFN/Mobil/Cross River Track and Field Championships coming up on the 23-25th of this month in Calaber.
“Though Ethiopia and Botswana has sent all their team list and confirmation but we are still awaiting confirmation from Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Cameroon as they have sent in their team list.
He concluded that: “I can assure you that all six countries will be present because the IAAF has sanctioned the competition as a qualifying one for the 4x100 and 4x400 event and these countries will be coming to qualify their teams.”

AFN Awaits NSC Approval To Engage Ex-Internationals




The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is getting set to engage some ex-internationals in building Nigeria athletes for a better performance.
Disclosing this at the weekend during the 4th meeting of the AFN/Desicon Golden, AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba said the federation will be engaging 6 ex-internationals who will be sent to the different zones of the country for better monitoring of athletes but maintained that the federation is awaiting National Sports Commission (NSC)’s approval.
 “Very soon the AFN will be consulting with six ex-international athletes to monitor athletes in the different geo-political zones. We don’t have any employed coaches; we make do with what the states are bringing. Now we are trying to do something that will engage 6 ex-international athletes that we are going to send to the different zones and we are trying to engage this team as consultants and right now we are waiting for the approval of the NSC on this.”
Meanwhile, Ogba is banking on the strength of Nigeria relay team for results at the upcoming All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in September this year.
He said Nigeria can win the relay events due to the fact that the country has the best team in Africa.
“For sure we can win the relay events in Mozambique because right now Nigeria has the best team in Africa. Adding the relay gold medals and getting additional 10 or so, then I see us winning the overall first position in the Games.”

Athletes Set Yaba Tech Track On Fire




…As Warri Host Final Leg June 15

Hostilities resumed at the weekend as Nigerian athletes jostled for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria AFN/Desicon prize money during the 4th meeting of the Golden League at the Sports Complex of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
One of the contenders, Ogho Oghene Egwero had to drop out of the race in preference of a career-boosting meet in Rabat, Morocco to pave way for Shola Anota (Long Jump), Baba Ibrahim (Hammer), Justin Agu (800m) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps’ 4x100m women relay team in the race for the jackpot which they all won to stay on course for the jackpot.
The high point the Lagos meeting was the 10.27 posted by Obinna Metu in the semi final. In the absence of Egwero who maintained a strong grip on the earlier three legs, Metu was easily the unassailable star of the field that included three Delta athletes Elvis Ukale (10.45), Nat Oletu (10.48) and Peter Unegbu (10.67).
Agnes Osazuwa who won the women version of the sprint in Abuja a fortnight earlier also picked her second title in the league with an 11.50 while Deborah Odeyemi (11.76) emerged second with Margaret Benson wining the bronze with 11.87 seconds.
None of the men quarter-miler was anywhere near the high 45sec three runners ran in the Abuja leg. The best of the weekend was a dismal 46.24 posted by Godday James.
Technical/Performance Director of the AFN Sunday Bada attributed the slow times posted in the Lagos leg to the two weeks break from the last leg.
“Without making cases for some of the poor times recorded here, I think the break between Abuja and Lagos did not help the athletes. Once the league begins, you don’t create room for slacking. But the inauguration weekend, which caused a shift to this weekend, made many to relax their training regimes, thereby slowing down the tempo with which we were expecting them to carry on,” he revealed.
He added that: “Egwero for instance started the League in Port Harcourt with a 10.5 went down to 10.33 and then 10.26. That is the trend we expected before the break,” observed the Sydney Olympics 4x400m gold medalist.”
The final leg of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League will now hold on the 15 June in the oil city of Warri with the fantastic four edging each other in winning the 2 million jackpots.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plateau Athletes to Get Government Support In Sports Festival

As states stratigize on how to win the coming National Sports Festival in River States, the Plateau State government has set the ball rolling to provide all the needed support to encourage its athletes to win laurels at the NSF.
According to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Nankin Bagudu, Governor Jonah Jang had approved the release of funds for the purchase of equipment required to excel.
Bagudu, who visited the athletes in camp at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos, said he was impressed by the efforts put in by the athletes and their coaches.The Commissioner expressed the hope that the athletes will do the state proud as they had done in previous editions.
“I enjoin you to put in your best to make the state proud as you have always done. The conditions may not be very favourable but government is working hard to make it better for you.
“The equipment will boost your confidence and I urge you to take the spirit to Port Harcourt to bring back gold medals back to Jos,” Bagudu said.
It would be recalled that Plateau State was came ninth on the medals table at the end of the last festival in Kaduna in 2009.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AFN Golden League: Three Down, Two to Go





…As Egwero, Osazuwa, Onakoya, Abogoloko Speed to Victory

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League third leg ended in Abuja at the weekend with Ogho Oghene Egwero further lowering the 100m time to claim his third consecutive victory and also aiming for the prize money.
Egwero won the race with a time of 10.26seconds to stay in contention for a share in the N3m jackpot prize on line in the league.
Obinna Metu of the Nigerian Prison Service club and Benjamin Adukwu of the Nigerian Army came second and third with a time of 10.45 and 10.50 respectively.
The Delta State athlete, who struggled with hamstring hours before the event at the Abuja National Stadium hard earlier, won his semi final race in 10.31, an improvement over the 10.33 he won at the Ado Ekiti leg penultimate weekend.
“I am really getting into the groove now,” smiled the petit runner as he fielded questions at a post race chat. “I believe I can still do better on this time with more concentration on my training programme. If I continue like this, there is nothing stopping me from running a 10 flat or even running a sub 10,” stressed Egwero who is going to compete at the CAA meet in Dakar this weekend.
Agnes Osazuwa, who is competing in the League for the first time, easily won the women sprint event with a time of 11.53seconds, leaving Deborah Odeyemi from the A-Class club and Goodness Thomas of Police team ran a time of 11.68 and 11.80 respectively to pick the second and third places respectively.
Osazuwa told reporters after the race that she has started her season on a good note with the 11.53 she posted in Abuja. “I have never started my season with an 11.5 before. What this means to me personally is that if I have an injury free season, I should be able to get to the podium at the All Africa Games in September.”
However, it was the results of the men 400m that gladdens the hearts of AFN chiefs most where Abiola Onakoya, Segun Ogunkole and Tobi Ogunmola all ran the A- standard under of 46 seconds. They posted 45.89, 45.91 and 45.92 respectively.
In the women version of the quarter-mile, Bukola Abogunloko ran a slow 53.39 to remain in contention for a share in the jackpot prize money. Nkiruka Nwakwe and Josephine Ehigie took the second and third position respectively with a time 53.50 and 53.76.
In the relays, Delta State remained the team to beat in the series as Egwero anchored their 4x100m quartet to gold with 40.09seconds. Delta won the first two legs. Similarly, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) retained their 4x100m women gold, clocking 45.25.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Sports Commission Dr Patrick Ekeji who witnessed the Abuja leg of the series along side other top officials of the commission commended the AFN for the League.
He said that the series of competitions carried out so far by AFN will go along way in adding Nigeria’s preparations for the All African Games slated to hold in Maputo in September this year.
While hinting that there is going to be a review of the concept of the sports associations as currently constituted in order to attract the private sector to participate.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Okoye Storms Onto Senior Stage



Croydon Harrier Lawrence Okoye made an impressive start to his career as a senior with victory in the discus at the Surrey Athletics Championships recently.
The 19-year-old from Waddon, who hopes to represent Great Britain at next year's Olympic Games, was throwing a 2kg discus for the first time in competition and blew the opposition away with a 63.25m effort that smashed the championship record.
It puts him third in the UK senior discus rankings this year, only 1.24m behind current British number one Brett Morse.
He was not the only Croydon Harrier to claim top spot on the podium in the senior events.
Babatunde Amosu equaled his personal best of 15.74m, another championship record, to win the triple jump and move up to fourth in this year's UK rankings.
The club had a third gold medalist in the seniors thanks to Oweka Wanogho, who won the 200m men's final in 21.91 seconds, with club-mate Lee McLaughlin in fourth.
Other gold went to Iyani Obi-Adewole in the U17 women’s shot, Tom Holden in the U15 boys' 1500m and Simi Obi-Adewole in the U15 boys' discus.

Lawal-Balogun Targets 2012 Olympics



British born Nigeria sprinter, Lawal-Balogun said he is aiming to make it to the 2012 London Olympic where he plan to achieve a lot.
Lawal, who has a personal best of 20.38 seconds and was the second fastest 200m sprinter in Britain in 2009, prefers to be acknowledged for his achievements on the track.
The 24-year-old from Bromley, south east London, said: “Next year’s 2012 and that’s what I want to focus on, being able to compete at the 2012 Games and win.”
The athletics World Championships, that will be taking place on August 27 in Daegu, South Korea, is one of the highlights in the 2011 sporting calendar.
However, Lawal will be using the championships as a form of preparation for the big one, next year’s Olympic Games in London.
“Every experience I’ve ever gone through I see as a stepping stone for the 2012 Games and I have to see it that way because as athletes we train to compete at the Olympic Games and that’s our main goal,” said Lawal
“Hopefully by 2012 I would’ve gained enough experience to compete with those guys (the American and Jamaicans) and push myself to where I’m confident enough to compete with them. I’ve done well so far but I want to keep pushing.”
Lawal, who first began competing aged 19, is a relative novice to the sport and took part in his first major senior athletics competition at last year’s European championships in Barcelona where he reached the semi-finals.
Together with the likes of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Leon Baptiste, Toby Sandeman and James Alaka, Lawal represents a new generation of half-lap sprinters who will eventually take over from experienced athletes. “They’re very good, I compete against those guys all the time and it’s always a battle,” explained Lawal.
“Sometimes they win, sometimes I win and it depends on who’s got their mind right at the time.
Coached by Olympic 4 x 100m relay silver medalist Clarence Callender, Lawal also has his goal set on being a regular member of the British relay squad, which has had mixed fortunes over the decade.
Nevertheless individual glory remains his priority.
“I see myself as a 200m runner but I also see myself as a relay member. As an athlete, you have to make it individually when it comes to your event and obviously become a team when it comes to the relay.
“We’ve got a lot of medals in the relays. We won the Olympics with Marlon and Mark Lewis-Francis so we’re very skilful when it comes to passing the baton. I believe that we could do something in the Olympic Games as well.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Abuja Ready For NSCDC/AFN Golden League Third Leg



Athletes jostling for the 2million prize money of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Golden League will this weekend at the National Stadium in Abuja, compete in the third leg of the championship.
After the first and second legs, which held in Port Harcourt and Ado Ekiti respectively, the AFN Secretary General Maria Wophil said that a lot of surprises are expected, especially with more incentives on the line for athletes to pick up.
“We are expecting spectacular performances from the athletes on the trail of the jackpot prize. For this leg, there are additional incentives from our sponsor for the athletes who perform well, in addition to the prize monies they will get,” observed the Federation scribe.
Already, all the top athletes with wins in the previous legs have signified their intentions to continue the hunt to have a share in the jackpot prize money.
Delta athlete, Ogho Oghene Egwero at the weekend continued his hunt for the jackpot prize when he stormed to a 10.33 to win the 100m event in Ado Ekiti. Fred Agbaje (10.56) of CDA and Navy athlete, Chukwuma Onyeaku (10.65) finished second and third respectively.
At the first leg in Port Harcourt penultimate weekend, Egwero started his season with a slow 10.55 to lead the field.
In the female version of the race, Deborah Odeyemi of A-Class club out-sprint both Blessing Ibirah of the Police (11.92) and Susan Akene (12.00) to win the race. Odeyemi powered home in 11.77.
Tobi Ogunmola of ICDO won the quarter mile in 46.49 to leave Abiola Onakoya (46.66) and Godday James (47.15) both of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps struggling for the second and third positions.
Bukola Abogunloko had no serious contest in the women 400m as the 2010 World Junior Championships 4x400m silver medalist coasted home in 52.83. Josephine Ehigie (53.10) of the Police team and Rita Ossai (53.94) of Mausi Club picked the silver and bronze. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Akwu Wins Double At Sunbelt Outdoor




…Gets Trackman Of The Year Award


Nigeria and Middle Tennessee sprinter Noah Awku over the weekend won both the 200 and 400meter dashes on the final day of the 2011 Sun Belt Outdoor Championships at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium, Tennessee.
The men's team took sixth in the competition, while the women tied for fourth.
Akwu ran respective times of 21.16 and 47.93 to take the duel victories. He was awarded Sun Belt co-Trackman of the Year for his accomplishments.
Teammate Steven Palmer was second behind Akwu in the 400 with a time of 48.09.
According to report, If not for Noah Akwu and a surprising last burst, MTSU's track & field teams would have gone winless on the final day of the Sun Belt Championships.
Akwu's 21.16-second sprint in the 200 edged South Alabama's Anton Graphenreed (21.24) to second position.  
It would be recalled that Noah Akwu was in February named track athlete of the week by the US league office. Akwu received the recognition for his performances at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky and also placed fifth (fourth collegiately) in the 400 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, running 47.49, the fastest time in the Sun Belt Conference this season giving him the 28th fastest in the NCAA this season.
In March also, Noah Akwu was crowned National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American in the 200-meter dash for his performance at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Akwu placed sixth in a final round time of 20.86 to earn the honor.
With the All-American title, Akwu becomes the second Middle Tennessee athlete to be named All-American in the 200-meter dash. Christian Nsiah was crowned such in 1996. He is also the first Blue Raider to win All-American in a track event since Orlando Reid in 2007 and first male indoor winner since Juan Walker in 2006.


ECOWAS Games To Remain Under-23 Category

 The Economic Community of West African Games (ECOWAS Games) whose first edition was held in Abuja, Nigeria in September, 2010 is to remain a competition for the Under-23 in the region.
Each Sports Federation will however be allowed to set the age within the approved limit for each of the sports disciplines.
This was one of the recommendations of the meeting of Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the 2010 ECOWAS Games held in Abuja, May 10, 2011. Other recommendations made by the meeting are that with effect from the 2012 Games in Ghana, a data base for athletes will be created while the technical organization and criteria for organization will be handled by each sports federation for each sports discipline with possible penalties for defaulting countries or athletes.
The meeting also recommended that the ECOWAS passport, ECOWAS Travel Certificate or National Passports be used by participants.
The meeting also advised host countries to ensure that accommodation sites are not too far from competition venues and to ensure that feeding for athletes is in conformity with international standards.
It also recommended that host countries should ensure effective transportation in line with Games Regulations.
As contained in the recommendations, Sports Federations will propose referees and officials in line with international standards while supervisors are to drawn from the continent.

Kenya Olympic Champion Wanjiru Leaps To His Death




Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru has died after apparently falling from the top floor of his home in Nyahururu, central Kenya.
According to the police, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion died from injuries sustained after jumping from top floor of his home in Nyahururu town at about 1am local time.
News of the death spread like bushfire in the town and by the morning many people among them athletes had thronged the Nyahururu district hospital mortuary where the body was lying.
The athletics champion was said to have jumped from his house at the Muthaiga estate in Nyahururu. Police said there was a quarrel between the runner and his wife Triza Njeri moments before he leaped to his death.
Nyandarua police chief Jasper Ombati said Wanjiru had come home at 11pm Sunday with a female friend after a social evening before the wife unexpectedly showed up moments later.
Mr Ombati said the runner was pronounced dead on arrival at the Nyahururu district hospital where he had been rushed by relatives.
Relatives found him lying on the concrete floor bleeding through the mouth and ears.
Samuel Wanjiru breaks the tape in victory during the Olympics marathon race in Beijing in 2008.
"Doctors at the district hospital tried to resuscitate him in vain," said Mr Ombati.
His female friend was being held at Nyahururu police station where she is helping police with investigations. The wife and a guard also recorded statements.
A huge crowd milled around the home by day break but the police had condoned off the area.
The sports hero was set to appear before a Nyahururu court on May 23 where he is charged with being in possession of an illegal fire arm.
In March, he had a sigh of relief after his wife and a guard, William Masinde, withdrew assault charges against him before the same court.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Egwero Storms to Second Win in AFN Golden League




ECOWAS U23 gold medalist in Abuja and Delta athlete, Ogho Oghene Egwero at the weekend continued his hunt for the 2 million naira Athletics Federation of Nigeria jackpot prize of the 2011 Golden League when he stormed to a 10.33 seconds to win the 100m event of the 2nd leg in Ado Ekiti. Fred Agbaje (10.56) of CDA and Navy athlete, Chukwuma Onyeaku (10.65) finished second and third respectively.
At the first leg in Port Harcourt penultimate weekend, Egwero started his season with a slow 10.55 to lead the field.
But on Saturday, the top sprinter who is mindful of the long season ahead, due to both the All Africa Games slated for September and the World Championships in August in Deagu, South Korea admitted that he couldn’t afford to go full steam just yet.
 “We have a long season with both the All Africa Games and the World Championships coming up later this year. So, what I am doing now is just part of my build up for the season. As you can see, the 10.33 I ran here is an improvement over my Port Harcourt race. I do not intend to go out of my training programme so as not to burn out when it matter most,” observed Egwero who ran in the same heats as Usain Bolt at the last World Championships in Berlin, Germany two years ago.
In the female version of the race, Deborah Odeyemi of A-Class club out-sprint both Blessing Ibirah of the Police (11.92) and Susan Akene (12.00) to win the race. Odeyemi powered home in 11.77.
Tobi Ogunmola of ICDO won the quarter mile in 46.49 to leave Abiola Onakoya (46.66) and Godday James (47.15) both of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps struggling for the second and third positions.
Bukola Abogunloko had no serious contest in the women 400m as the 2010 World Junior Championships 4x400m silver medalist coasted home in 52.83. Josephine Ehigie (53.10) of the Police team and Rita Ossai (53.94) of Mausi Club picked the silver and bronze.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 CAA Africa Junior Champs:



 Botswana Ready To Host Africa

More than 2,000 athletes from 30 African countries are expected in Botswana capital, Gaborone for the 10th Africa Junior Athletics Championships (AJAC) that kicks off in the Southern African nation today.
Botswana has spent months preparing to host the event and according to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) president, Solly Reikeletseng, it is all systems go after all the intense preparations.
Initially, the tournament was supposed to be held at the 30,000 capacity National Stadium but had to be moved to the University of Botswana (UB) stadium as the other facility is still undergoing renovations.
Reikeletseng, in a release, said that despite some challenges they faced in preparations, they are confident of hosting a successful event.
"Obviously there will always be problems. Early this week, we had a problem with accommodation because some countries had arrived earlier than expected, but that was sorted out," he explained.
"We know we will make it. We did our best to renovate the UB Stadium to suit the event," he stressed. The stadium was closed three weeks ago to lay a new track as the previous was considered worn out for the continental youth showpiece.
Reikeletseng said that even some countries that did not confirm participation have arrived.
Botswana is hosting the tournament for the first time and will be represented by 58 athletes and hopes to use home advantage to win more medals. The championships will be officially opened today and will run till Sunday, 15th May.
The CAA African Junior Athletics Championships is a biennial Africa athletics event organized by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA). It was first held in 1994, only athletes under 21 years are allowed to compete.
The 2010 edition was hosted in Bambous in Mauritius.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IAAF Diamond League results

200m Men

1, Walter Dix, United States, 20.06. 2, Femi Ogunode, Qatar (Nigeria), 20.30. 3, Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, Norway, 20.55. 4, Jordan Boase, United States, 20.60. 5, Mario Forsythe, Jamaica, 20.86. 6, Ainsley Waugh, Jamaica, 20.90. 7, Omar Jouma Bilal al-Salfa, United Arab Emirates, 21.32.

200m Women

1, LaShauntea Moore, United States, 22.83. 2, ChaRonda Williams, United States, 22.95. 3, Patricia Hall, Jamaica, 23.16. 4, Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria, 23.19. 5, Alexandra Fedoriva, Russia, 23.31. 6, Consuella Moore, United States, 23.85. 7, Yelizaveta Savlinis, Russia, 23.98. Alexandria Anderson, United States, DNS.

Triple Jump Men

1, Teddy Tamgho, France, 57-4¾. 2, Leevan Sands, Bahamas, 56-1. 3, Alexis Copello, Cuba, 55-11¼. 4, Yoann Rapinier, France, 53-2¼. 5, Sief El Islem Temacini, Algeria, 52-7¼. 6, Mohammed Abbas Darwish, 52-2. 7, Randy Lewis, Grenada, 51-11¼. 8, Tosin Oke, Nigeria, DNS.

Long Jump Women

1, Funmi Jimoh, United States (Nigeria), 22-6¾. 2, Maurren Higa Maggi, Brazil, 22-6½. 3, Anna Nazarova, Russia, 22-2½. 4, Tatyana Kotova, Russia, 22-1¼. 5, Eloyse Lesueur, France, 21-10¼. 6, Ivana Spanovic, Serbia, 21-9. 7, Yuliya Pidluzhnaya, Russia, 21-7½. 8, Ineta Radevica, Latvia, 21-5¾. 9, Keila Da Silva Costa, Brazil, 21-10¼. Yelena Sokolova, Russia, NM.

 800 Men

1, Asbel Kiprop, Kenya, 1:44.74. 2, Michael Rimmer, Britain, 1:45.12. 3, Alfred Kirwa Yego, Kenya, 1:45.17. 4, Richard Kiplagat, Kenya, 1:45.48. 5, Antonio Manuel Reina, Spain, 1:45.55. 6, Marcin Lewandowski, Poland, 1:46.42. 7, Hamza Driouch, Qatar, 1:50.25. Sammy Tangui, Kenya, DNF. Belala Mansoor Ali, Bahrain, DNS.

1,500 Men

1, Nixon Chepseba, Kenya, 3:31.84. 2, Silas Kiplagat, Kenya, 3:32.15. 3, Mekonnen Gebremedhin, Ethiopia, 3:32.28. 4, Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, Kenya, 3:33.05. 5, Haron Keitany, Kenya, 3:33.39. 6, Abdelaati Iguider, Morocco, 3:33.50. 7, Remmy Limo Ndiwa, Kenya, 3:33.65. 8, Ismail Kipngetich Kombich, Kenya, 3:34.38. 9, Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono, Kenya, 3:35.28. 10, Taoufik Makhloufi, Algeria, 3:44.78. Collins Cheboi, Kenya, DNF. Vickson Naran Polonet, Kenya, DNF.

3,000 Men

1, Yenew Alamirew, Ethiopia, 7:27.26. 2, Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, Kenya, 7:27.55. 3, Eluid Kipchoge, Kenya, 7:27.66. 4, Augustine Kiprono Choge, Kenya, 7:28.76. 5, Vincent Kiprop Chepkok, Kenya, 7:30.15. 6, Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, Kenya, 7:31.41. 7, Moses Ndiema Kipsiro, Uganda, 7:31.83. 8, Tariku Bekele, Ethiopia, 7:33.50. 9, Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, Kenya, 7:33.93. 10, Essa Ismail Rashed, Qatar, 7:34.70. 11, Mark Kiptoo, Kenya, 7:34.82. 12, John Kipkoech, Kenya, 7:34.82. 13, Lucas Kimeli Rotich, Kenya, 7:35.57. 14, Yusuf Kibet Biwott, Kenya, 7:36.84.

400 Hurdles

1, Louis J. Van Zyl, South Africa, 48.11. 2, Cornel Fredericks, South Africa, 48.43. 3, Bershawn Jackson, United States, 48.44. 4, Kurt Leone Couto, Mozambique, 50.03. 5, Laron Bennett, United States, 50.28. 6, Richard Yates, Britain, 50.34. 7, Georg Fleischhauer, Germany, 50.46.

High Jump

1, Jesse Williams, United States, 7-7¾. 2, Kyriakos Ioannou, Cyprus, 7-7¾. 3, Moataz Essa Barsham Ahmed, Qatar, 7-7. 4, Donald Thomas, Bahamas, 7-6. 5, Dusty Jonas, United States, 7-6. 6, Aleksey Dmitrik, Russia, 7-6. 7, Konstantinos Baniotis, Greece, 7-5. 8, Tom Parsons, Britain, 7-3¾. 9, Alesandro Talotti, Italy, 7-3¾. 10, Rashid Ahmed al-Mania, Qatar, 7-2½. 11, Wojciech Theiner, Poland, 7-2½. 12, Andra Manson, United States, 7-2½.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Okagbare Returns For Golden League




Africa’s 100meter track queen, Blessing Okagbare will be returning to the track after over eights months out due to injury.
The multiple award winner is staging a comeback at the big stage with the Golden League which starts on Friday, 6th May in Doha, Qatar.
According to the President of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba, who left Nigeria for Doha on Thursday to monitor the sprinter, Okagbare is a grade A athlete by World standard and that she needs all the support for her success.
The AFN scribe who says he is using the opportunity to go round and see other top Nigeria athletes in Europe, said preparing the athletes for the challenges In continental and global competitions will go a long way in putting them in shape.
“Okagbare will be returning to the game after a long stay off due to injury. Without mincing word, she is a grade A athlete by world standard and we need to give her all the support. This is her first race and we expect her to get better as time goes on.
“She is good and other top athletes look up to her as a medal prospect in any big competition.
“I will use this opportunity to go round and see many of our other top athletes. We have to talk to them and prepare them for the challenges ahead in continental and global competitions,” he said.
Meanwhile, debunking insinuations that Damola Osayome’s case was pending due to doctor’s inability to look into her case, the former Delta State Commissioner of Sports said Osayome was suspended for six months and that she has completed her ban.
“As I speak with you now, Damola Osayome has served her six months ban which was handed over to her for testing positive to ban substances during the last Commonwealth Games in India last year.
Damola Osayome, Folashade Abugun and Samuel Okon tested positive to banned substance in the last Commonwealth Games that was held in India.


IAAF Roles Out Daegu World Champs prize Money



 …Record Breakers to get 100, 000 Dollars

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has rolled out prize money for the up coming World Athletics Championship in Daegu, Korea in August.
The athletics body also announced that 201 of the 212 IAAF Member Federations have declared their intention to participate at the Championships from 27th August – 4 September 2011.
The IAAF World Championships is the third biggest global sporting event after the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, and will be the largest sports gathering on the planet in 2011.
The body said as always, there will be a huge prize purse on offer, with the IAAF paying a grand total of US$7,336,000, while stating that men’s and women’s Individual events; 1st to 8th places will get 1st 60,000; 2nd 30,000; 3rd 20,000; 4th 15,000; 5th 10,000; 6th 6000; 7th 5000; 8th 4000. Relays per team will get, 1st 80,000; 2nd 40,000; 3rd 20,000; 4th 16,000; 5th 12,000; 6th 8000; 7th 6000; 8th 4000.
The IAAF World Marathon Cup which is incorporated into the IAAF World Championships offers an additional total prize purse of US$142,000 distributed as follows: Men’s and women’s events; 1st to 6th places; Teams, 1st 20,000; 2nd 15,000; 3rd 12,000; 4th 10,000; 5th 8000; 6th 6000.
Meanwhile, the IAAF has stated that any athlete who surpasses a World record at the IAAF World Championships will be awarded US$100,000 donated by IAAF Partners Toyota (for Women) and TDK (for Men).
All figures are in US dollars.


Ogunode lead Qatari charge for Diamond League



Nigeria born and two time Asian Games gold medalist for Qatar, Femi Ogunode will lead the seven-athlete Qatari charge for the opening leg of the 2011 Samsung Diamond League on Friday.
Expectations are high on the Nigerian after he won the 200m and 400m double with national junior record times of 20.43 and 45.12 in the Asian Games last year. He aims to run faster on the Qatar Sports Club track this Friday.
Ogunode, six others Qatar athletes and another Nigerian, 100m Asian record holder Samuel Francis form the core of the Qatari team for the World Championships in Daegu, hoping to perform better than a bronze medal crop at the 2009 edition in Berlin.
After hosting the IAAF Grand Prix since 1997, Doha joined the inaugural Diamond League circuit in 2010. The same year, it hosted the first World Indoor Championships in the Arab world.
Doha is currently bidding with three other cities (London, Budapest, Barcelona or Seville) to host the 2017 World Championships. The decision will be taken by the IAAF Council in November.

Athletes Jostle For Golden League 2Million



All attention and roads will lead to the University of Port Harcourt Sports Complex in Rivers State this weekend for the first in the series of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Chief of Naval Staff Golden league competition.
The event which was scheduled to hold in Kaduna was later taken to Port Harcourt due to the crisis that rocks the state after the presidential election.
The Golden League, which is liken to the IAAF Diamond League, will see top Nigerian athletes jostling for the 2 million cash prize at stake.
Reacting to their readiness for the championship, some of the athletes said they can’t wait to return to the track and field and put in their best to lay claim to the 2 million naira prize.
According to the AFN 2nd All Comers Championships best male runner Tobi Ogunmola, the Golden League is here again and it is time to return to the track and prove critics wrong about Nigeria athletes are good.
“This is another opportunity to prove that Nigeria has good athletes and I am going to River State to win and also win in all the other series of the Golden League.”
Tobi Ogunmola ran the fastest time in the 2nd All Comers 600m with a time of 1.18second.
Meanwhile, 2010 ECOWAS Games U-23 gold medalist, Agbaje Ovie Fredrick who said he is set to do what he knows how to do best, by going to Port Harcourt to run.
The Ososo in Edo state born athlete said commendation should be given to the AFN for this very sound and innovative initiative of trying keeping the athletes very busy and at the same time doling out two million as prize money which he says he will fight for. “Though athletes are not getting the necessary support, we have to commend the AFN for putting this up, I am all set for this year’s first edition of the Golden League this weekend, I am going there to do what I know best, which is winning,” he said.
To win the Jackpot athletes are expected to win at least five of the six legs of the event and in the event that more than one athlete achieves the feat then they will all share the two million naira up for grab.
Some of the events to be competed for include (Men): 100m, 400m, 800m, 400mhurdles, Triple Jump, High Jump,
4x100m and 4x400m. Women are to compete in 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, Long Jump, 4x-100m and 4x-400m.
Six cities across the country are to host the different legs of the event; they are Lagos Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Delta and Abuja.

Athletes Jostle For Golden League 2Million



All attention and roads will lead to the University of Port Harcourt Sports Complex in Rivers State this weekend for the first in the series of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Chief of Naval Staff Golden league competition.
The event which was scheduled to hold in Kaduna was later taken to Port Harcourt due to the crisis that rocks the state after the presidential election.
The Golden League, which is liken to the IAAF Diamond League, will see top Nigerian athletes jostling for the 2 million cash prize at stake.
Reacting to their readiness for the championship, some of the athletes said they can’t wait to return to the track and field and put in their best to lay claim to the 2 million naira prize.
According to the AFN 2nd All Comers Championships best male runner Tobi Ogunmola, the Golden League is here again and it is time to return to the track and prove critics wrong about Nigeria athletes are good.
“This is another opportunity to prove that Nigeria has good athletes and I am going to River State to win and also win in all the other series of the Golden League.”
Tobi Ogunmola ran the fastest time in the 2nd All Comers 600m with a time of 1.18second.
Meanwhile, 2010 ECOWAS Games U-23 gold medalist, Agbaje Ovie Fredrick who said he is set to do what he knows how to do best, by going to Port Harcourt to run.
The Ososo in Edo state born athlete said commendation should be given to the AFN for this very sound and innovative initiative of trying keeping the athletes very busy and at the same time doling out two million as prize money which he says he will fight for. “Though athletes are not getting the necessary support, we have to commend the AFN for putting this up, I am all set for this year’s first edition of the Golden League this weekend, I am going there to do what I know best, which is winning,” he said.
To win the Jackpot athletes are expected to win at least five of the six legs of the event and in the event that more than one athlete achieves the feat then they will all share the two million naira up for grab.
Some of the events to be competed for include (Men): 100m, 400m, 800m, 400mhurdles, Triple Jump, High Jump,
4x100m and 4x400m. Women are to compete in 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, Long Jump, 4x-100m and 4x-400m.
Six cities across the country are to host the different legs of the event; they are Lagos Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Delta and Abuja.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Violence Forces AFN Golden League Out of Kaduna



…Garden City to host first leg May 6

The first leg of the 2011 Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League earlier scheduled to hold in Kaduna has been moved to the University of Port Harcourt Sports Complex in the Rivers State capital.
Maria Wophil, the Secretary General of the AFN who announced the shift of venue of the Meet, said that May 6 and 7 dates for the track & field Meet remain unchanged.
“The Golden League will begin on Friday May 6 and end on May 7. The violence that rocked the city of Kaduna that we had earlier scheduled to host the first leg forced us to move it to Port Harcourt. We don’t want to risk the lives of our athletes in an environment were people are rioting over elections,” observed the former national handball star.
Mrs. Wophil frowned at speculations in a section of the media insinuating that the competition has been placed on hold due to sponsorship problems.
“I don’t know where the reporter who wrote that report got his facts from. We (AFN) never told anybody we were having funding problems over the league. Everyone in the country is aware of the developments in the political climate and if we opted to move the League to a place that we feel is more secure, I don’t know how that translates to cancellation,” fumed the soft spoken scribe of the AFN.
Dr. Ken Anugweje, AFN board member who is also the director of sport at the University of Port Harcourt at the weekend expressed his joy at the prospect of hosting the Golden League.
“University of Port Harcourt is one of the best sports complexes in the country. You need to come over to see the ultra modern, IAAF certified track we have there. It is, perhaps, the best we have in the country at the moment,” observed the sports medicine expert.
He said he was expecting good competition during the Golden League as most states would want to use it to prepare for the National Sports Festival (which incidentally, Rivers State is hosting next month.)
Unlike the previous editions, the AFN is planning to have a compact League that would be full of respect due to the quality of races and distances churned out of top athletes. It is also expected that there is going to be an improved prize monies to be won.