Akwa Ibom State Athletics Association on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 held an open trial at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium to select outstanding Track and Field athletes, who will fly the orange and white colours at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival scheduled to kick off on March 22 in Benin–City, Edo State.
The selection process was coordinated by the Performance Director of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Gabriel Okon, with the technical assistance of Chief Athletics coach, Philipides Okon, track coaches Daniel Umoette and Ifiok George and other field coaches.
Rabat 2019 African Games’ women’s 4x100m champion Patience Okon-George, won the mixed 400m final, while Africa U20 Women’s 4x100m relay gold medalist, Esther Peter Okon won the Women’s 100m race with Humble Isang and Ekikere Frank finishing second and third, respectively.
Top three finishers in the Men’s 100m were 4×100 metres relay gold medalist, Gershon Omubo, Consider Emmanuel Ekanem and Nsikak Anthony.
Coach Daniel Umoette whose team started preparations six months ago, explained why the trials was made open and the also assured the state of quality representation in Edo State.
“Since Sports is a unifying factor for socio-political development, and the essence of National Sports Festival is to promote National integration, we had to make our trials open to accomodate athletes based in Akwa Ibom and outside the state.
“As a matter of fact this is the best trial Akwa Ibom Athletics Association have ever organised and I want to commend our Chairman, Rt. Hon. Nse Essien and his board members for the motivation and support which has really reflected in the quality of performance displayed by the athletes today,” he said.
“We started our preparations since september last year and from the athletes we have on ground we hope to build a good team to the festival.
“Akwa Ibom Track and Field athletes are a force to reckon with, as far as the sprint is concerned and we hope to surpass our achievement in the last Sports Festival in Abuja”
Chief Athletics Coach, Philipides Gabriel Okon said he was delighted to see a huge improvenent in the organisation , welfare and performance of the athletes during the trials.
According to the Director of Sports, Coach Lawrence Iquaibom, the best athletes in all disciplines will go into close camping in the remaining 10 days for the coaches to help boost the standard of their performance.
Dignitaries including the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports/Chairman Akwa United, Elder Paul Bassey and Assistant Director of Sports/Head of Coaching, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Coach Catherine Ekuta graced the event.
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