By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Nigeria's 4×400 metres sprint queen, Damola Osayomi, has expressed belief in Team Nigeria's hopes of a memorable 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Pentagon, Oregun, USA.
The 16th edition of the Championships begins today (Thursday) and the five-time All Africa Games gold medallist (two gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m at the 2011 All Africa Games) spoke exclusively to Completesportsnigeria.com on her expectations from Nigeria's athletes at the Championships.
"The Nigerian team is made up of experienced athletes and also up-and-coming ones," Osayomi who was part of Nigeria's women's 4x100m relay quartet at the 2008 Olympics told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Ogho-Oghene Egwero in the 60m, is one of the strongest athletes in his specialty and I expect him to win a medal. The 4×400 team and Tosin Oke in triple jump are the other areas we can win medals. That is for the guys.
"For the ladies, Regina George and Patience in the 4x100m have been at major competitions in the past, so I expect they will not be awed by the big names that will also grace the Championships.
Osayomi who finished in sixth place at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain however insists the athletes can only give as much as they got in terms of preparation and motivation.
"There are a few athletes going to the USA to represent us that I do not know because they are up and coming, but I know that they will perform according to how the Athletic Federation and Ministry of Sports have prepared them.
"There will be no magic; motivate and prepare the athletes and they will perform well," Osayomi, a graduate of Business Administration at the University of Texas told Completesportsnigeria.com.
It can be recalled that Osayomi was dogged by drug related controversy in 2010 after winning a gold medal in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games, and was later stripped of the medal.