Former African Sprints Champion, Mary Onyali Omagbemi has declared that she was eagerly looking forward to racing against arch rival Endurance Ojokolo during the Africa Masters Championships billed for May 2013.
Onyali, Nigeria's most decorated athlete in the twilight of her career, battled hard to keep young, up and coming Ojokolo at bay. The rivalry came to a head at the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, where Onyali beat Ojokolo to the gold in the Women's 100m.
"I'm excited about running at the African Masters Championships. And most definitely I will love to race against Ojokolo. Perhaps when the younger ones see us perform they will want to go and replicate it as they participate actively," Onyali stated.
She submitted that the Masters is a veritable platform for retired athletes to keep fit.
"Sports is a life saver. More participation in it as a retired athlete means less trip to the hospital.
We the former athletes are very happy that we are having a platform like this to compete.
At the last All Nigeria/Cross River Championships in Calabar, we had a mock run. A lot of athletes turned up and things have picked up," said Onyali, who is a member of the Confederation of Africa Athletics Athletes Commission.