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Don’t bank on Okagbare, Oduduru for medals, Ebewele tells Nigerians

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[File] Blessing Okagbare

As Nigerians look forward to the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, a board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele says only one athlete among the 25 to be paraded by country at the championship has what it takes to be in the medal’s zone.

The 2019 IAAF World Championship will hold from September 27 to October 6 in Doha, and Nigeria will parade 25 athletes among the 1,928 track and field stars from across the globe.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Ebewele, a former Sports Commissioner in Edo State as well as former Technical Director of the AFN, stated that apart from Tobi Amusan in the women’s 100m hurdles, other Nigerian athletes listed for the championship might be going to Doha for sight seeing.

“I don’t see Nigeria winning a gold medal in Doha,” Ebewele said in a telephone chat yesterday. “If Tobi Amosan is lucky, she might grab a silver or bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles. But I don’t see the likes of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru performing any magic at the championship.”

At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Okagbare got a silver medal in the long jump with a leap of 6.99 m, and placed sixth in the 100m final in 11.04 seconds. She was third in the 200m race.

Two years later at Beijing 2015, Okagbare flopped in the 100m, finishing 8th position in 11.02 seconds. And in 2017 in London, she ended up in the semifinal with 11.08 seconds and placed 8th in the long jump with a leap of 6.55meters.

Ebewele feels Okagbare might disappoint Nigerians once again in Doha, unless if she is able to put extra efforts in both the 100m and 200m event she will feature in Doha.

“The likes of Raymond Ekevwo, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Divine Oduduru, Emmanuel Arowolo, Enoch Adegoke, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Seye Ogunlewe might just make up the number in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events because the Americans, Jamaicans and British athletes won’t give the chance to win a medal. It will take the Grace of God for our athlete to even make the final in those events.

“And I don’t also see our shot put thrower, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, getting a medal because there are American athletes who can throw 22metres and 23metres. Enekwechi is a 21 metres thrower. I don’t really know where our medals will come from, Ebewele stated.


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