30 July, 2015

Nigerian athletes Struggle to meet IAAF standards

The 69th All Nigeria Athletics Championships will throw up interesting challenges in Warri, Delta State on
Thursday and Friday as the event becomes the last opportunity for the athletes to achieve the IAAF standards as qualifiers for the World Championships holding in Beijing, China in August.

The Nigeria championships present a second chance for the athletes following their substandard performances at the Warri Relays/CAA Grand Prix at the same venue last week. The event will also be used as trials for the All Africa Games holding in Brazzaville, Congo in September.
The IAAF reviewed its standards earlier in the year as it maintained that only the ‘A’ Standards would be considered for the IAAF World Championships and the
2016 Olympics. For the 100 metres, the men should have 10.16 seconds, while it is 11.33 seconds for the women. It is 20.50 seconds and 23.20 seconds for men and women in the 200m, while in the 400m, the men must have 45.50 seconds and 52.00 seconds for women.
But the Athletic Federation of Nigeria has revealed that only 23 athletes have so far met the standards in various disciplines. The athletes include Africa’s fastest woman, Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume,
Patience Okon, Regina George, Funke Oladoye, Oluwatosin Adeloye, Gloria Asumnu, Stephanie Kalu, Peace Uko, Dominique Duncan, Doreen Amata, Chinwe Okoro, Tosin Oke, Tyrone Akins and Ogho-Oghene Egwero.
The trio of Ismail Sadjo (8:22.23), Williams Kefas (8:25.31) and Taiwo Osuolale (8:26.99) will also be in the mix after beating the IAAF standard of 8:28.00 in the men’s 3,000m event at CAA Grand Prix last week.
Coordinator of the championships, Yusuf Ali, is confident more athletes will break the barrier and qualify for the world championships.

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