The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has selected 40 athletes and 10 officials to represent the country at the 17th African Senior Athletics Championships slated for July 28 to August 1 at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi next month.
The team list, which include the Beijing 2008 Olympics Long Jump silver medallist and Africa's fastest sprinter, Blessing Okagbare and Nigerian 100 metres men's champion, Obinna Metu, had about 29 out of the 40 athletes listed 'on probation'.
Metu, who's among those on probation, has been given a deadline of July 17 by the AFN President, Solomon Ogba to improve on his time of 10.25 secords.
In the men's sprints, Ogho-Ogene Egwero, Benjamin Adukwu, Fred Agbaje and Peter Emelieze were also placed on probation.
US-based Damola Osayemi would also be running in the 100m and 200m with an aim to outshine Okagbare and other African athletes. Agnes Osazuwa, Laureta Ozoh and Omaka Josephine are however on AFN's probation list.
Other athletes who have also been invited include, Shade Abugan, Josephine Ehigie, Etim Margaret, Bukola Ogunloko and Ajoke Adumosu (400m and 4x400m Women).
With the exception of the 400 metres men's champion Noah Akwu, the rest of the quarter milers; Saul Weigopwa, Godday James, Tobi Ogunmola and Isah Salihu were all placed on probation.
Others on probation are: 800m Men: Ishaku Mohammed; 1,500m Women: Sani Ruth Awute; 110m Hurdles Men: Selim Nurudeen and Samuel Okon; Heptathlon: Patience Okoro; Hammer Men: Osazuwa Osamudiame; Triple Jump Women, Commonwealth Silver medalist, Otonye Iworima was placed on probation with Nkiruka Domike and Blessing Ibrahim.
Comfort Onyali will join up with Blessing Okagbare for the Women's Long Jump and in the Women's Shot put: Miriam Ibekwe was placed on probation.
The rest of the athletes are:
- 100m Women Hurdles: Seun Adigun, Jessica Ohanaja
- 400m Women Hurdles: Ajoke Adumosu.
- Hammer: Bolanle Ogun and Queen Obisesan.
- Triple Jump Men: Tosin Oke.
- Long Jump Men: Stanley Gbagbeke and Samson Idiata.
- High Jump Men: Bayo Adio
Meanwhile AFN has directed that all athletes must resume camping by July 4 at Oghara, Delta State.
The team will be led by Camp Co-ordinator, Rita Akande and Camp Commandant, Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama.
See the full list below (Probation's are starred*):
**Additional reports by Yomi Omogbeja