Not being grounded in the rules of the competition is the sole reason why the Athletics Fedederation of Nigeria (AFN) has made Nigeria to lose two of the country’s best sprinters at the on going World Athletics Championships in Doha.
In a release earlier sent by the federation, it was explained that the duo of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru have had to pull out of the 100 metres race so as to conserve energy for the 200 metre race where they are percieved to have better medal prospects.
Alas, it backfired! Now the two athetes will no longer compete in the World Athletics Championship having breached the competition rules.
Oduduru and Okagbare were initially entered for three events each in the Men and Women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.
With the disqualification of the two, it is uncertain if Nigeria will feature in the 4x100m relays.
On the eve of their participation, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria tweeted that they had both opted to compete in the 200m instead of the 100m.
An excerpt of the competition rules states:
At all competitions under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c) and (f), an athlete shall be excluded from participation in all further events (including) other events in which he is simultaneously participating) in the competition, including relays, in cases where:
(a) a final confirmation was given that the athlete would start in an event but then failed to participate.
The same regulations will apply to Okagbare and might even have far reaching consequences on Nigeria’s participation in the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m relays.
Explanation on the big blunder is still being expected from the technical department of the AFN.