Sixteen new athletes have been added into the ranks of the leading Nigerian Track Club, Making of Champions (MoC) .

While introducing the new athletes officially to the media on Tuesday in Lagos, MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani said he was delighted at the big improvement achieved so far,

Mr. Akani recalled that only eight athletes started with MoC barely three years ago and now double of that amount is coming on board.

The 16 athletes unveiled comprised 3 senior athletes – Kelechi Christian, Ifeanyi Christian and Suraj Habib, with the 13 other athletes belonging to the Youth and Junior teams.

Kelechi Christian is the reigning African U20 100m women’s Champion, a feat she achieved while competing for Zimbabwe at the African U20 Championships in Algeria in 2017.

She also claimed a Bronze medal in the 200m and Silver in the 4x100m at the same event.

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Multi-talented Ifeanyi Christian made history by becoming the club’s first ever para-athlete, and comes with sterling credentials, including being the best in the men’s T46 category in 100m, 200m and 400m in Nigeria. He’s also a GOLD medallist for Akwa Ibom at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF).

MoC Athletes Unveiling

Habib entered MoC’s history books as the first athlete from Northern Nigeria to be recruited into the club, having relocated from Zaria in Kaduna State, to join the club. Habib specializes in the 400m.

The 13 Youth and Junior athletes unveiled include for male,  John Clifford, Favour Ashe, Adeola Ayo, Gracious Ushie, Inioluwa Mebawondu, Eze Owho, and Uthman Yusuff.

Their female counterparts are Miracle Thompson, Fidelia Ucheobi, Success Umukoro, Victory Owhoviorole, Maria Umoibang and Halima Badmus.

Mr. Akani described the development as a historic one and he is confident that the new athletes will attain their full potential with the support of the club.

He said, “We’re very humbled, we’re very excited. We’re in awe at the task at hand. We’re almost doubling our number of athletes; this brings the total number of athletes at MoC Track Club to almost 30. It’s a historic moment for us because this is the largest class of athletes that we’ve brought in.

MoC Athletes Unveiling

“For the 13 Junior and Youth athletes unveiled today, their initial target is running at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, next year, while the three senior athletes will join the likes of Joy Udo-Gabriel and Jerry Jakpa. Their main target is getting on to the senior team for Nigeria, starting with the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, and then Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. We are very excited about the future.”

Ahead of the National U18 and U20 Trials holding in Ilaro, Ogun State from March 14th to 17th, Akani expects a good outing from the athletes, most of whom would be making their first appearance for the club:

“We have 16 athletes in the Junior and Youth teams, and it’s a new beginning for many of them. Some of them have been training with us for two to three months, and so it’s going to be a first experience for many at the nationals. We do hope one or two of them can get to Cote d’Ivoire in April and use that as a spring board to start working towards the World U20 Championships next year and eventually make it into the senior team”, he said.

Since coming on board as an athletics club, MoC’s athletes have won as much as 10 international and 25 national medals.