The trio of former African sprints queen, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, reigning African 400m record-holder, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, reigning African 100m record-holder, Olusoji Adetokunbo Fasuba and others have been listed as Ambassadors of Nigerian athletics during the All-Nigeria/Cross River Track & Field holding this week at the U.J Esuene stadium in Calabar.
Others named ambassadors include Los Angeles '84 Olympics 4x400m relay bronze medallists Moses Ugbisien and Sunday Uti.
According to the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba, the ex-international athletes have been chosen to act as ambassadors for the event as well as act as role models to the athletes.
Ogba stated that the athletes where choosen base on their past achievement when they where still in the game.
"We chose these athletes out of so many distinguished Nigerian athletes to serve as role models to the athletes who will be competing at the championships.
They will also serve as a source of inspiration to them', says Ogba adding that the athletes achievements should serve as motivation for those coming behind.
"Just look what the athletes have achieved on the track. Onyali has won virtually everything on the track. Even at the championships she has been one of the most decorated athletes. She won over 20 gold medals at the championships.
"Ogunkoya too has been the greatest 400m runner the African continent has ever seen. She was the number one ranked quarter-miler in the world in 1998 and she won two medals in African-record setting times at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta', reveals Ogba who believes Fasuba's achievement is still fresh in Nigerians' minds.
"He remains the first man in African championships history to have won the 100m gold three times consecutively. He is the African record holder in the 100m at 9.85. He is also a former All-Nigeria champion.
Ogba said the athletes chosen are the heroes and heroines of the sport and that Nigeria athletes of today should learn from these ex-internationals in terms of their athletic accomplishments and their behaviour off and on the track.
Meanwhile, Nigeria athletics Coach, Tobias Igwe aka 'Toblow' has commended the Athletics Federation of Nigeria for going against all odds in organizing championships with funds not coming as at when due.
The Coach, who described the President of the federation as a magician, said Ogba has revitalize Nigeria athletics, he said since Ogba came in as AFN president, Nigeria athletics has improved tremendously.
The Abia state coach said so far in Nigerian sports, no federation has organized competitions like the AFN, saying the just ended Golden League makes it the seventh major events in athletics this season.
He said that kudos should be given to Solomon Ogba who, despite the lack of funds from the National Sports Commission, made sure Nigeria athletes don't lack competitions which he says puts the athletes in good shape.
"Solomon Ogba is a magician. That is what he is because I have not seen any other sports federations in Nigeria today that has organized competitions like the AFN.
"Even when the NSC is not forth coming with funds for sporting programs, Ogba makes sure Nigeria athletics does not lack competitions.
"The Golden League makes it the seventh major event of the AFN this year and more events are still coming. We should really commend Ogba and the AFN for all these. The man doesn't even wait for the NSC to bring money before implementing the AFN's programs, so there is no other way to qualify Ogba but a magician in Nigeria.
"When you see someone that has passion for sports development, you will know immediately and Solomon is one of sure people in the country," he said.
On the expectations during the national trials in Calabar from the 23rd to 25 June, Toblow said Nigerians will see the best of athletics as all the foreign athletes will be competing to fight for a place in the Nigerian team.