As part of preparations to ensure a successful outing for Team Nigeria at the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Games, Nigerian sprinters are expected to join their other African and South American counterparts for the tune-up relay races which kicks off next week at the Myers Stadium in Austin-Texas, United States.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Abuja, president Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba said the 3-Texas Relays event is among the programmes being lined up to help prepare Nigeria’s track and field stars for the quadrennial multi-sports event in London.
He said AFN is leaving no stone unturned in its preparations for the Olympic Games to be held from July 27 in London this year. “Our resolve is to do well at the London Olympics and events have been lined up to help prepare our athletes. We are going to participate in the Texas Relays in Austin, United States which will come up between March 28th and 31st, as well as the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, in April. We believe these meets will help get them ready for the Olympics.”
This is coming up barely two weeks after some Nigerian Olympic bound athletes took part at the recently concluded World Indoor Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays is an annual track and field competition which brings together African-American athletes. It is the second largest track meet in the United States, behind only the Penn Relays which approximately 50,000 spectators and 5,000 athletes attend.
In response to cold-weather conditions at the Kansas Relays, the Texas Relays started as a men’s-only competition in 1925 by coach Clyde Littlefield and athletic director Theo Bellmont before the Women’s events were added to it in 1963.
According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2007, the Relays generate US$8 million for local business, much of this was traced to the fact that the event has become a social destination for young African-Americans.