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Glory Alozie apologises for choosing Spain over Nigeria


Glory-AlozieAFN frustrated me to join Portugal, says Obikwelu
Nigerian-born Spanish sprinter, Glory Alozie has pleaded with Nigerians to forgive her for the decision to change allegiance shortly after the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. To make up for that, she has promised to produce another top sprinter that can win an Olympic gold medal for the nation in a short time.

Alozie spoke in Lagos yesterday, just as Nigerian-born Portuguese sprinter, Francis Obikwelu, revealed that officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) frustrated him into changing nationality.

The duo of Alozie and Obikwelu, alongside two Nigerian former Olympians, Uchenna Emedolu and Deji Aliu, are currently in Lagos for a revolutionary grassroots athletics development programme, tagged ‘Making of Champions’, which has been moving round the country, hunting for young athletes that can win medals for Nigeria at the Olympic Games.

After the Ibadan, Enugu and Benin City legs of the programme, the final leg of ‘Making of Champions’ talent hunt will hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos from October 1 to 3.

Over 350 athletes from all parts of the country are taking part in the programme.
Speaking yesterday, Alozie said her youthfulness, as well as the pressure from her club mates in Valencia was responsible for her decision to dump Nigeria for Spain.

I am not happy that I dumped Nigeria for Spain. I didn’t really know the implication of that action until much later. I joined a club in Valencia as a junior athlete and the people really liked me. My club mates were always telling me to join them, which I eventually did. It was after I took the decision that stories started coming out, but it was too late to make a U-turn. I am sorry for taking such a decision, but I am back to make up for it.

I will produce another Glory Alozie for Nigeria through the ‘Making of Champions’ project. I am not happy that the record of 12.44 seconds, which I set in 100m hurdles, still stands unbroken in Nigeria till today. I am happy Blessing Okagbare was able to break the 10.90 seconds I set in the 100m. We can do it again if everyone joins hand with Bambo Akanni to make this ‘Making of Champions’ project better,” Alozie said.

On his part, Obikwelu hinted that he was frustrated out of the country by AFN officials through the unjust treatment he received during and after the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

I wasn’t happy dumping Nigeria for Portugal,” Obikwelu began. “I was ranked World number two best sprinter at Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. During the Games, I told AFN officials that I had a knee problem, but they said I was lying. I forced myself to run up till the semifinal and in the process, did more harm to my knee. Nobody in AFN was talking to me. I went to the doctor who confirmed that I had to go for a knee operation to save my athletics career. I went to Canada on my own for the operation and returned to Nigeria on crutches. I went to AFN and was told that money had been approved for me, but they didn’t know where the money was. You can see the frustration I went through. I had to go to Portugal. I bear no grudge against any one and Nigeria still remains my country,” Obikwelu said.

Meanwhile, registration for the last leg of ‘Making of Champions’ talent hunt project in Lagos will close today, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the event, Bambo Akani.

He said yesterday that he decided to begin the project after Nigeria returned from the London 2012 Olympics Games without a single medal. “It is our believe that Nigeria has so much talents to rule athletics at the Olympic Games. Many People may say that one year is not enough to produce a medallist at the Olympic Games, but from what we have at the moment, I am sure we can get it. All we need is partnership from corporate bodies,” Akanni said.
The duo of Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu agreed. “Producing an Olympics medallist within one year is possible,” they said.

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  • Kehinde

    Alozie, 9ja understands. Poverty can make some people trow away their birth right if money is dangled before them. Take care of the stomach infrastructure. More Glory to your stomach.

    • Delta_Quagmire

      A classic Yoruba behavior….not in the least surprised.

  • Ify Onabu

    Can’t eat your cake and have it mate. Spain has used her and now she is dumped. For Obikwelu, Portugal has used him and dumped him as well. Now they remember Naija? Have they not heard that blood is thicker than water? Could be they have spent all the money they got in Spain and Portugal … and now they are back to milk Nigeria once again. I weep for Nigeria, the milk cow!


      somebody’s own blood can also be dangerous. A guy from Edo State killed his father in Lagos, and took his her heart away from the dead body. Is that blood thicker than water?

      • Dre Peters

        Well said jare. You hit the nail on the head, period. Some blood can be terrible to the sight.

  • bigbang

    Nigerian athletes are apologizing for running for another country. Shame on you Sports ministry for putting them in that situation. Lets me make it difficult for foreigners to poach our athletes.

  • 100%Black

    My sister, u have nothing to apologize about. Nigeria is a ZOO

  • the_headline

    Stop apologizing… have not made any single mistake my dear sister. You are in a right place. Enjoy your life!

    • Dre Peters

      As if you knew what I had in mind! Who cares if they dump Nigeria: a place where no one cares. Sam Okwaraji’s mother was on Who Deserves to Be a Millionaire a forth night and it was all in the the same circle: No one reckoned with her after her son’s demise.

      Very sad! Very, very sad!

  • EdBaz

    Most of you doesn’t know why they took the decision to represent another country. What support is really there in Nigeria for sportsmen and sportswomen? What facilities are there? If they decide to represent another country they will, at least, have the opportunity to use good and latest equipments for training. My 8 year old daughter is training to be a gymnast. Do you think Nigeria will give the support she needs to excel when she grows up should she decide to continue in the sport? I honestly don’t know what advice to give her when that time comes. do you think Christine Ohuruogu who is currently representing Britain and is an Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion would have won anything if she was representing Nigeria. Tell anybody to represent Nigeria in sports when given a better chance of achieving something is nothing but blind patrotism.

  • Delta_Quagmire

    Represent Nigeria???

  • Benbella

    Laughable people, you SORRY for what ? hahahahaha Nigeria , you better enjoy your life in Spain, Nigeria have nothing to offer nobody if you cant steal money and fraud or scam people that’s Nigeria for you ….above all Selfish people…. like to take from people and lied ok