AFN clears Edosie, Egwin to compete for Nigeria
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has granted the wish of middle distance runner, Edosie Ibadin and quarter miler, Emerald Egwin, to switch allegiance from their country of birth, USA, to their parents’ country, Nigeria.
The duo had been registered by the AFN for the ongoing world championships in London, but the IAAF rejected their registration and asked for further proof that they are bonafide Nigerians.
This was done with the athletes presenting their parents’ birth certificates. Their clearance to don the green and white colours of Nigeria was thus granted and the Edo State born Edosie will thus be in action today in the men’s 800m, while Egwin will have to wait till the next day of the championships to compete when the women’s 4x400m relay team take to the track at the Olympic stadium.
The inclusion of the duo brings to 20 the number of athletes the country has registered for the competition.
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, yesterday, progressed from the quarterfinal stage of the 100 metres event into today’s semifinals due to take place this afternoon, at the ongoing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Championship in London.
She has been drawn in the third semifinal of the blue rib band event, and she will have to overcome the Ivorian duo of current African record holder, Muriel Ahoure, and the more impressive Marie-Jose Ta Lou, as well as the hugely talented Tori Bowie of the USA.
Okagbare, drawn in lane five, will also have to spare a thought for the Trinidad and Tobago lady, Michelle-Lee Ahye, and British girl, Asha Philips. She will hope to secure one of the two automatic qualifying slots for the final, or race fast enough to qualify as one of the two fastest losers.
Shot putter Enekwechi Chukwuebuka failed to make history in the event as the first Nigerian to compete in the final of the event in the championships, as his 19.72m effort was not good enough to throw him into the final.
In the 400m, Samson Nathaniel ran 46.63 seconds to place fifth in his opening round heat and subsequently crashed out of reckoning, same as two full laps runner, Edosie Ibadin, whose impressive 1:46.61 run could not get him into the final.
Meanwhile, quarter-miler, Yinka Ajayi, was expected to join the team yesterday morning, after getting her visa from the British Embassy in Nigeria, while Abike Egbeniyi, who will be competing in the women’s 4x400m relay will have to make another trip to the embassy on Monday for her visa.
Three journalists, Esan Oludare of Complete Sports, Charles Ogundiya of Telegraph Newspapers and Tunde Eludini are also waiting on the embassy to grant their entry visas to cover the championships, which began on Friday in London.
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