With less than five weeks to the third “Making of Champions (MoCs) Grand Prix”, over 300 Athletes from across Nigeria and West Africa have registered for the 2 and 3 April event.
The Founder and CEO of MoCs, Bambo Akani, disclosed the figure on their media platform, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
Akani said that the event has fast become the largest annual Athletics Competition in Nigeria aside from the National Trials.
He expressed joy over the number of entries received so far, saying “We’re excited about the response from Athletes nationwide and abroad for this event.
“The first edition in 2018 had 400 Athletes and the second in 2019 had 500 Athletes. With three weeks of registration still left, we’re well on track to exceed those numbers, but these are different times due to the pandemic.
“So we will be publishing a final list of entries to ensure we can strictly adhere to coronavirus safety protocol. The list will feature athletes vying to qualify for the Olympics, World U20 and African Championships.”
Akani said the initial registration deadline of Friday, March 5, has been extended to Friday, March 19, stressing that no further entries will be entertained after the final deadline.
“Several National Team Athletes for Nigeria have already signalled their intention to participate, with qualification for the Tokyo Olympics up for grabs.
“These include Commonwealth Games Medallist and multiple African and National Champion, Patience Okon-George, African Games Medallists, Kemi Francis and Emmanuel Arowolo, and African Championships Medallist Samuel Kure.
“Other top Team Nigeria Athletes at the event are Commonwealth Games Medallist and National 100m Champion, Joy Udo-Gabriel, African Games Medallist and National 400m Champion, Emmanuel Ojeli, National 200m Silver Medallist, Jerry Jakpa, and National 100m Silver Medallist, Grace Nwokocha.
“Indeed, National Team Athletes of other countries such as Sierra Leone and Togo have already registered their interest to participate in the Olympic-qualifying Event,” Akani said.
He explained that top Athletics Clubs in Lagos dominated the list of entries, stressing that the hosts, MoC Track Club, will have 25 Athletes, Eaglesight (20), Olapade Athletics Club (16) and Arena (14).
He Further noted entries from D’Victors (11) and Christy Athletics Club (8) in Ogun State, Federal University of Technology Akure (10) in Ondo, God’s Speed Athletics Club (7) in Oyo, Favoured Stars (5) in Delta and Coach Felix Academic & Sports Foundation (5) in Kaduna.
The founder said other established Athletics Teams making a return to the MoC Grand Prix include Team Police (10), Civil Defence (8) and the African Athletics Development Centre (AADC) in Port-Harcourt (3).
Akani said some State athletes will be using the Grand Prix to keep sharp and prepared for the National Sports Festival, rescheduled for April, including Edo (15), Delta (7), Anambra (5), Akwa Ibom (3) and Cross River (3).
He said, however, that the event would be by invitation only and the final list of invited Athletes will be published a week before the event (by Friday 26th March).
“All Athletes registering from outside Nigeria, however, will be contacted for further information immediately MoC receives their registration for the event,” he said.