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Okagbare disqualified, Oduduru finishes last in 200m

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Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare reacts after competing in the Women’s 200m heats at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on September 30, 2019. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP


• Ofili, George hit 400m semifinals
• Ebewele hails minister for recalling Adeleye

Nigeria’s sole representative in the women’s 200m event at the on-going Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships, Blessing Okagbare, failed to make it to the semifinal yesterday, as she was disqualified for stepping on the lane.

The duo of Okagbare and Divine Oduduru were reinstated into the championships on Sunday after they were earlier disqualified for not showing up in the 100m race, which they were listed to compete.

But on a day so much was expected from Okagbare, she put up a lackadaisical show in Heat 5 of the 200m event yesterday, where she struggled to finish fourth in a race won by a relatively unknown Niger Republic athlete, Aminatou Seyni.

While some Nigerians expressed disappointment with Okagbare’s poor show in Doha, some were of the view yesterday that too much pressure might have affected the athlete.After Okagbare’s disqualification, Nigerians’ attention shifted to Divine Oduduru in the men’s 200m semifinal. But he also fumbled, finishing last in the race with a disappointing 20.84 seconds.

However, the duo of Patience Okon George and Favour Ofili qualified in their various 400m heats yesterday. While George ran 51.77seconds to qualify in Heat 2, Ofili ran a Personal Best time of 51.51seconds in Heat 4.

Meanwhile, a board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele has commended the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare for his decision to recall the federation’s Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye from the on-going IAAF World Championship in Doha.

The sports minister had directed the immediate recall of Adeleye on Sunday over glaring administrative lapses and violation of the rules and regulations of the IAAF in Doha.Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Ebewele stated that the minister took the right step by recalling Adeleye. He said: “Long before now, Sunday Adeleye had demonstrated that he does not have such capacity to be the technical director of the AFN. Even the former sports minister, Solomon Dalung set up a panel to investigate him (Adeleye), but as soon as he left office, some people in the sports ministry swept the report under the carpet. About 120 athletes signed a paper calling for his removal long ago. Now that Adeleye has shown to the entire world his level of incompetence as AFN technical director, I want to see how his ‘godfathers’ in the sports ministry will defend him.”


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