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Obaseki’s sports reforms on parade, as Ogbemudia Stadium hosts 2nd consecutive AFN trials

5 Jul 2023

National Record holder in men's 400m Hurdles, Ezekiel Nathaniel in the men's 400m Hurdles, at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) national trials, taking place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City, on Thursday, June 6, 2023.

Amusan, Itsekiri shine as national champions

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s sports reforms in the last six and half years has transformed the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium into the favourite ground for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) national trials, as the 2023 National trials hosts over 160 athletes in Benin from July 5 to 7.

The Benin stadium is hosting the second consecutive AFN national trial, which features world champion, Tobiloba Amusan, silver medalist at the last World Championships in Oregon, U.S., Ese Brume and other foreign-based athletes.


Governor Obaseki transformed the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium into a world-class sports arena, including a 12,000-capacity covered arena, with natural turf and refitted running tracks; tennis and squash courts, a new Olympic-size swimming pool and indoor suspended gymnasium.

Other facilities at the stadium include those for weightlifting, wrestling and other combat sports. The Stadium has also been outfitted with new high-capacity electronic score screens, floodlights and Video Assistant Referee technology.


Amusan retained her 100m hurdles national title with a 12.70 finish. In the men’s 100m final, Usheoritse Itsekiri stormed to victory in 10.02secs to win ahead of Seye Ogunlewe and Alaba Akintola.

In the women’s 100m final, Blessing Ogundiran won with a time of 11.50secs, while AFN Golden League winner, Faith Okwose clocked 11.51secs to end up in second place. African record holder in long jump, Ese Brume, came third in 11.52secs.


The athletes are competing for a spot in Nigeria’s team to the 19th World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

The national trials will end on July 7.

Last year, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium hosted the trials for both the World Championships in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

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