Sprinter Blessing Okagbare has expressed displeasure with officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria over the mix-up that almost got her and Divine Oduduru disqualified from the ongoing World Championships in Doha.
Oduduru and Okagbare almost got disqualified after withdrawing from 100m races in Doha 2019 but were later reinstated after IAAF detected that there was a mix-up.
Before the reinstatement, Okagbare told AP that they had informed AFN of their plans to only take part in the 200m
She accused the AFN officials of incompetency, saying that similar incidents happened in previous competitions.
She said, “It’s not the first time they’ve done a thing like this. They deal with the African Games and national championships, but this is not Africa.
“We’re not running at national championships. People here take the rules seriously and we keep bending them. It’s wrong. It’s incompetency. I feel like they’re wasting my World Championships. I don’t know how many more I have. I’m 30.”
Apart from Okagbare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, also expressed concern over the disqualification, which was later cancelled.
In a tweet to react to the incident, Dare said, “Doha – All day, I have followed the developments around two of our athletes, Divine and Blessing. Our officials are at the IAAF Technical Information Centre as we speak. Nigerians deserve an explanation.”