Reigning African Games 100m and 100m hurdles champions, Raymond Ekevwo and Tobiloba Amusan have arrived in Mauritius for the 22nd African Athletics Championship starting on Wednesday.
Both athletes arrived Saturday after competing at the Irena Szewinska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour meet in Poland.
Ekevwo will be hoping to add the African Championship title to the African Games gold he won three years ago in Morocco thereby returning Nigeria to the top of the podium 12 long years after Olusoji Fasuba won in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 23-year-old who ran 9.96s to win the African Games gold in 2019 will also be hoping to run faster and break compatriot Seun Ogunkoya’s 9.94s Championship record set in Dakar, Senegal in 1998.
Amusan on her part will be looking to successfully defend the title she won four years ago at the 21st edition of the championship in Asaba, Delta state in Nigeria.
The sprint hurdler will also be aiming at the 12.77s championship record set by compatriot Glory Alozie in Dakar, Senegal in 1998.
If she succeeds, the 24-year-old would have broken three of the four records held by Alozie.
In 2019 Amusan ran 12.68s to break Alozie’s African Games record and last year, she also dismantled the 12.44s African record her illustrious predecessor set in 1998 when she ran 12.42s to win the sprint hurdles title at the Diamond League final.
Meanwhile, the home based contingent departed Nigeria for Mauritius on Monday.
The championship is serving as preparations for both the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, USA next month and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham which will also begin towards the end of next month.
Nigeria placed third on the medals table at the 21st edition with nine gold, five silver and six bronze medals behind Kenya (11.6,2) and South Africa (9,14,8).