MoC inducts FIVE new athletes as Egbochinam bags Shell endorsement

In March this year, Africa’s leading sports management company, Making of Champions (MoC) unveiled eight athletes who they had selected from The 2015 Top Sprinter competition to sponsor them academically and see to their welfare on the track. Today will go down in history again as they added 5 athletes to make it a total of 13 athletes under their watch.  

They are Blessing Obarierhu, Blossom Akpedeye, Glory Nyenke, Saheed Jimoh and Segun Ahigbe. 
These new athletes can hope to emulate their colleagues already in the club enjoying varying benefits that comes with representing Making of Champions.

The athletes will get to travel to different meets across Nigeria, such as the AFN Golden League and National Trials, with MoC sponsoring their travel, accommodation and feeding whenever representing the Track Club! 2017 promises to be exciting as some of them may even be in the frame to represent Nigeria at Youth (U18), Junior (U20) or Senior levels!
 

From left to right: MoC’s Enugu Head Coach,  Uchenna Emedolu,  Chiamaka Egbochinam,  MoC’s Lagos Head Coach, Deji Aliu and MoC’s CEO,  Bambo Akani

It’s also a day that won’t be forgotten so soon for 15 year old, Chiamaka Egbochinam whose performance this year was superb after finishing in the bronze medal position in the 100m and 200m at The National Youth Championship in a time of 12.08s and 25.25s respectively caught the eyes of Oil and Gas company, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) who recently awarded a 2-year Secondary School Scholarship to the young sprint star.  
Egbochinam’s scholarship covers her tuition, accommodation, nutrition, training and competition costs for the next two years towards the completion of her senior secondary school education. SNEPCo has relocated Egbochinam from Ontisha to study at a top private school in Lagos, while she trains with Olympic Medallist Deji Aliu, who is MoC’s Head Coach in Lagos.

Reacting to the positive development, MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani said:

 “I think it’s a historic moment in Nigerian Athletics – I don’t think we’ve ever seen a secondary school athlete get a scholarship from a company like Shell, or any other corporate organization in Nigeria.

It’s really an indication of what potential she has to be a star for Nigeria in the future and also an indication of how much Shell wanted to help Chiamaka and give her a good education to help her realize her immense potential.”

Hearty congratulations to all the inducted athletes and also Egbochinam Chiamaka!

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Loveth Odia and Abike Egbeniyi finish tops at The Vanderbilt Opener

Middle Tennessee University opened their 2016-17 Indoors season at the Vanderbilt Opener in Nashville, Tennessee state, USA on Saturday, December 3.

Following the footsteps of Mercy Abire and Akerele Omeiza, a few other Nigerian’s where at this meet to represent their school track team, Blue Raiders. 

Loveth Odia was a first place finisher in the women’s 400m event which she won with a time of 55.18s more than a second faster than the runner-up. 

Loveth Odia (left)  and Abike Egbeniyi (right) 

Sophomore, Abike Egbeniyi took the 800m by storm as she finished first in a time of 2:07.95s ahead of two other Blue Raiders; Agnes Abu (2:09.38) and Shania Johnson (2:12.61) who were second and third respectively. 

Loveth and Abike later teamed up with Taylor Day and Susan Aneno to win the women’s 4x400m in a time of 3:44.24s. 

 Meanwhile the men where not left out as Ifiok Andrew finished 4th in the 60m with a time of 6.98s while Sophomore , Charles Okeze finished 7th with a time of 7.11s.

Ifiok also ran in the 200m and finished 8th with 22.42s. Adeniji Adedamola finished 5th in the 400m with a time of 48.96s. Okeze, Adedamola and Ifiok later teamed up with Laari to finish 3rd in the 4x400m with 3:17.21s. 
Its worthy to note and Abike Egbeniyi and Loveth Odia were among the five top finishers for the Blue Raiders. 

Middle Tennessee is slated to compete again Jan. 8 at the Tennessee State Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
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Mercy Abire and Omeiza Akerele shine at Bob Timmons Challenge. 

The 2016-17 Indoor season began yesterday, December 2 for Oral Robert University track and field team, Golden Eagles with the Bob Timmons Challenge at Anschutz Sports Pavilion, Kansas, USA. 

Nigeria was well represented as two of our own, Mercy Abire and Akerele Omeiza competed for Oral Robert University.
Abire who is a freshman at the University, competed in the Women’s Long Jump where she finished top with a leap of 5.74m. Mercy who made her debut appearance for the Golden Eagles, had this to say, 

 “I’m excited and all thanks to God. Getting my first indoor games, I did not understand some rules and all about it but I just had fun” said the elated jumper. 

Its worthy to note that Mercy won by more than a foot jumping nearly 13 inches farther than the second place finisher.

Meanwhile on the track, Nigeria’s 400m athlete, Akerele Omeiza competed in the 60m where he posted a time of 6.93s. He later helped his school finish 2nd in the 4x400m in a time of 3:15.50s.

Next stop for the Golden Eagles of ORU would be January 6th at the Bill Easton Classic hosted by The University of Kansas. Hopefully Aniekeme Alphonsus and Victor Peka who just got full scholarship grants to the school would have joined them to add their quota. 


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2008 Beijing Olympics: Agnes Osazuwa expresses excitement over Bronze-turned-Silver medal. 

In 2008 at the Beijing Summer Olympics, the Nigerian female sprint relay team which included Ene Fraca Idoko, Gloria Kemasuode, Halimat Ismailia and Oludamola Osayomi won the bronze medal behind Belgium and Russia while Agnes Osazuwa-Olatunji ran in the heats to help the Nigerian team make the final.

 
In August this year, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Team Russia of it’s gold medal after one of the athlete, Yulia Chermoshanskaya tested positive for the steroids stanozobol and turinabol. 
Just recently, The IOC formally wrote to inform Team Nigeria through the Nigeria Olympic Committee that it has upgraded Nigeria’s Bronze medal in the women’s 4x100m to a Silver. 
In a phone chat with Athletic Heat, Osazuwa expressed her joy over the upgraded medal. 


“I feel very happy and of course, silver medal is not the same as bronze medal. It’s just that it didn’t come at the right time. If it had come earlier, we would have had a lot of celebration. 

Now people would no longer address me as a bronze medallist but a Sliver medalist. It’s not the same thing, It has grade, just that people don’t value it here but when you travel out, its well recognised.”

Also commenting on the 4x100m at The Rio 2016 Olympics, the African Champion says baton was their main problem. 

What went wrong was the baton exchange. If you watch the heat, the exchange wasn’t really perfect but the final was worse.
“It wasn’t everyone that made mistake. Jennifer Madu who passed the baton to me was a bit slow and there was an error
and that made a lot of difference but there was nothing we could do, that’s relay for you where anything can happen” 

Looking forward to the 2017 World Championships, she said, 

For the World Championships, I’m working towards running my flat (100m) and to be the best in the event. And for the relay if we could come together before then and compete in a few meets. I think it would go a long way because relay is a team work and we can’t get to the World Champs and say we want to start correcting anything it’s not done that way.” 

And in order to proceed to the reallocation according to the new classification, the IOC asked the NOC to send back bronze medals, second place diplomas and bronze medallists pins of the athletes.
Belgium stand to be upgraded to gold and Nigeria to silver with Brazil taking bronze.


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Athletic Heat Top 20 Most Beautiful Nigerian athletes 

A  professional woman is known for her personality, beauty and of course the talent.
Nigeria is a country that is known for having beautiful ladies and it’s no surprise that Agbani Darego was crowned the Miss World in 2001.

We admire female athletes for their incredible abilities, but also what makes them recognizable is their personality, beauty and of course the hot appeal.

We at ‘Athletic Heat’ have chosen from an array of Nigerian beauty queens in Track and Field, our Top 20 Most Beautiful Female Athletes for 2016.

Enjoy!!

20) Osazuwa Agnes-Olatunji

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Agnes Osazuwa as she is fondly called, is a 100m specialist who was born in Benin, Edo State. She is known for her explosiveness in the 4x100m wherein she has anchored the Nigerian team severally with the Rio Olympics been the most recent. She is not a novice at the Olympics as she won a bronze-turned-silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China in the 4x100m. She had a smooth outing this year as she ended her season claiming the 100m  title at the Uniform Games, Kaduna last month.

 

19) Oluwatobiloba Amusan

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Tobi Amusan is a name that even a 9 year old athlete would know. She has done well for herself, her school; University of Texas, El Paso and her country, Nigeria. She is a beast when it comes to the 100m hurdles where she is highly ranked in the World Junior list. She was tipped to win the World Junior Championship title in her discipline but was denied as she could only manage a 5th place in the final. Tobi made her Olympic debut at The 2016 Rio Games. She’s a young athlete who’s future on the track can’t be predicted as she can do the IMPOSSIBLE!

18) Mercy Abire

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Abire Mercy is a 19 year old, Delta state born athlete who is a freshman at Oral Robert University in The United States. She has worn Nigeria’s Green and White a few times competing in the Long Jump wherein she is the 2016 Senior National Bronze medalist. She definitely has a model-like body and we advice her to look into it as a second career.

17) Blessing Mayungbe

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Mayungbe is a US born 400m specialist who now competes for Nigeria. In 2011, the IAAF rejected her from donning the Green and White colors of Nigeria at the 13th World Championships in Daegu, South Korea because she was still listed as representing The USA on the IAAF website until June 23, 2013 when she became eligible to rep her fatherland. Since then, Blessing has represented Nigeria severally and she has a PR of 52.63s and 23.41s.

16) Ese Brume

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Brume is a 20 year old Nigerian track and field star who specializes in the Long Jump. She has a Personal Best of 6.83m and also holds the African Junior Record of 6.68m. Brume is a 3-time National Long Jump Champion, a Commonwealth Games Gold medalist in the discipline and she won three medals at the 2013 African Junior Championship. she was the only Nigerian athlete that got to the final in the track and field event at The 2016 Rio Olympics as she finished 5th overall in the Long Jump by all standard was the best performance by a Nigerian in the T&F at this Olympics.

15) Omotayo Abolaji

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Omotayo is an 18 year old Nigerian sprinter who hails from Kwara State where she lived and trained before moving to the US . Tayo as she is fondly called, has been a  force to reckon with in recent years having represented Nigeria severally and she has won medals in the process. 2016 wasn’t just her year as she has been plagued with injuries which deterred her performance but we hope she comes back stronger next season. She has a Personal Best  of 11.59s and 24.53s.

14) Olivia Ekpone

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Texas A&M alumni, Oliva Ekpone is a sprinter who began competing for Nigeria in 2015. Prior to her change of allegiance, she represented The USA at the World Junior Championship in 2012 and 2014 where she won a Silver and Gold medal respectively. Even while competing for A&M, Olivia was an integral part of her School’s team, competing in four events namely, the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m and in 2014 she broke the school record with a time of 22.23s and this feat moved her atop the SEC’s all time list.

13) Haisha Bisiolu

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Black they say is beautiful and Haisha who is a 19 year old sophomore student at The University of Cincinnati, USA where she competes in the Division I for the Bearcats is not an exception. She has a Personal Best of 11.74s and 23.78s in the 100m and 200m respectively. She was part of the Nigerian team to the 2014 World Junior Championship in Oregon, USA where she competed in the 4x100m and 4x400m Relay races. She was also listed to compete in the 4x100m at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Poland but for one reason or the other, she sadly didn’t make the trip.

12) Lawretta Ozoh

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Lawretta is a sprinter who competes internationally in the 100m and 200m for Nigeria. She has had a descent performance competing for Nigeria with an outstanding personal record of 22.73s and 11.19s. Lawretta finished her 2016 season with a win in the 200m final B at the All Nigeria Championships.

11) Mercy Ntai-Obong

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Mercy is a Nigerian Junior sprinter who has represented Nigeria a number of times. Her most recent achievement was when she sailed through to the 100m final at The 2016 World Junior Championship in Poland. She’s an athlete to watch out for as she has a Personal Best of 11.47s and 23.17s. Prior to the World Juniors she was ranked 12th on the 100m WJ list.

 

 

10) Marvellous Iheukwumere

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Starting our top 10 is Marvellous  a Nigerian-born US based athlete who competes professionally in the 100m and 200m. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently works in the NBA League Office in The US.

9) Joy Udoh-Gabriel

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Joy is a 17 year old freshman at the University of Lagos. She is a sprint sensation who had her breakthrough this year, after placing 5th at The National Junior Championship, winning the 100m Final B at the National Golden League with a Personal Best of 11.87s beating more experienced athletes. Then to crown her outstanding year, she was the youngest athlete to compete at the All Nigeria Championships which served as trials for The Olympics and she returned a time of 11.88s. To add icing on the cake, she also clinched the 100m and 200m titles at The 2016 Top Sprinter competition. She is managed by Making of Champions and sponsored by ARCO Group.

8) Moyosore Badejo

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Moyosore Badejo is a 20 year old Lagos state born athlete who competes in the 100m and 200m wherein she has a Personal Best of 11.8s and 24.5s respectively. She is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she majored in Guardian and Counselling. Moyo is a Silver medalist in the 100m hurdles at The 2014 National University Games (NUGA). Just recently, she was awarded SCASSON SPORT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR. She was a force to reckon with at The 2015 Top Sprinter competition in Ibadan where she outran the rest to clinch the 100m and 200m titles. She was for many years under the Lagos state sponsored, Adopt A Talent program. She is now under the tutelage of Olympic medalist, Deji Aliu.

7) Christy Udoh

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Christy is a 25 year old Nigerian sprinter who specializes in the 200m. She is a 2012 Olympian and part of the team that won the 4x200m at the 2015 World Relays. she has a sexy figure and could be mistaken for a beauty pageant contestant. She’s an alumni of Texas Longhorns University.

6) Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor 

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Nigeria’s Top Sprinter, Blessing Okagbare as she is known occupies number 6 spot on our list and we think she has proven to be the best Nigerian athlete in the last decade. She is a 3-time Olympian with a bronze medal to show for it. Okagbare was at the 2016 Olympic Games where she couldn’t make the final in the 100 and 200m but helped the Nigerian team to the final of the sprint relay. She is an ambassador for NIKE, First Bank amongst others corporate organizations.

5) Tameka Jameson

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Tameka Jameson is a Nigerian sprinter who grew up in The United States. She competed in the 4 × 400 meters relay at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships and she was an alternate at 2014  Indoors Championships. She competed at the collegiate level for University of Miami Hurricanes track team where she won laurels for the school at both indoor and outdoor competitions. She won a bronze medal at the 2016 African Senior Championships in the 400m hurdles which is her major event. She is sponsored by BROOKS.

4) Khadija Suleiman

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Khadija is a 23 year old sprinter who has been competing for Nigeria for about 3 years. she has done well for herself, her school; Mississippi State University and her country, Nigeria. She has a Personal Best of 11.39s and 23.39s.

3) Jennifer Madu

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Jennifer is a US-born Nigerian sprinter who specializes in the 100m. Prior to her switch to the African nation this year, she was a World Youth and Junior Champion while competing for USA and has a PB of 11.16s. She made her debut appearance in Nigeria’s Green and White at the 2016 Rio Olympics. We hope she can bring that kind of glory and speed to the Nigerian team

2) Regina George

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Regina is an American-born Nigerian-Velezuan citizen who has been running for Nigeria for years. Though she has had injuries throughout her career, she was able to represent Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and was one of the favorites to win the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships due to her outstanding qualifying time in the 400m. She was part of the team that won the 4x200m Gold medal at the 2015 World Relays. She inked a deal with one of Nigeria’s leading banks, Union Bank this year.

1) Stephanie Kalu

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Stephanie makes it to our Number 1 spot of the 2016 Most Beautiful Nigerian athletes. The 23 year old American born Nigerian sprinter  specializes in the 100 meters , 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters . She has represented Nigeria at several meets including the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics , 2013 Summer Universidad and the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics. She ran for SMU Athletics at collegiate level and has a PR of 11.33s.

Comment and Share your Thoughts on our selection. Stay tuned for Men’s List

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