Itanyi Hails Osazuwa for Erasing Her Record

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Patience Itanyi 

Patience Itanyi has hailed Uhunoma Osazuwa for breaking her 12 year-old 5,730 points national heptathlon record, even as reigning national long jump indoor record holder at 8.26m, Charlton Ehizuelen has expressed his delight with the progress Team Nigeria’s  track and field squad is making at their Atlanta camp ahead of London 2012.

Osazuwa set a new 5,992 points national record at the Jim Click Combined Events in Tucson, Arizona in the United States of America to erase the record Itanyi set on June 4, 2000 in Arles.

In erasing her own personal best of 5668 points set in Calabar last year during the All Nigeria/Cross River Athletics Championships, Osazuwa set personal best of 13.43 seconds in the 100m hurdles, cleared a new life time height of 1.84m in the high jump, put a new 12.52m in the shot put and a wind-aided 23.79 seconds in the 200m.

”I am very happy for what Uhunoma has done. The record has been there for too long and I am delighted she has been able to break it,” said a delighted Itanyi from her base in the

Meanwhile, Ehizuelen believes Team Nigeria’s track and field squad, under the guidance of new national coach, Innocent Egbunike, can surprise all by winning medals at the London Olympics this summer.

Ehizuelen, who visited the team’s camp at the weekend on the invitation of Egbunike,  is confident  that the athletes he saw in Atlanta will not be in London to make up the numbers.

”I’m impressed with the dedication the athletes are showing towards their training. I noticed that they have the self-belief that they can do Nigeria proud at the Olympics in spite of the odds staked against them. The spirit is good and there is a general sense of purpose in what they are doing,” said Ehizuelen who rose to national prominence in 1973 when he won the long and triple jump titles at the first National Sports Festival in Lagos.

Regarded as Nigeria’s greatest long jumper of all time, Ehizuelen commended the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi for contracting Egbunike to handle Team Nigeria’s track and field squad to the London Games.

He urged Abdullahi to sit down with Egbunike and start planning for the 2016 Games immediately.

Ehizuelen who was the world leader of his event leading to the Montreal Olympic Nigeria boycotted for apartheid reasons, revealed there are many Nigerians who are ready to ensure that the nation’s lost glory is restored not just in athletics, but in all sports.

In : Sports

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