Nigerian banker-runner withdraws from Olympic marathon

Channels Television  
Updated August 3, 2012

Diamond Bank employee and international marathoner, Esther Obiekwe has withdrawn from the Olympic marathon scheduled to take place on August 5 as a result of training injury in London.

Esther Obiekwe waving at fans during the Berlin Marathon

Also known as the “Running banker” Obiekwe said “I am heartbroken, but I realize these incidents can happen, particularly when training in darkness in new surroundings. I severely twisted my ankle on the 25th of July when jumping off an elevated curb and now my knee and ankle hurts and cannot take the impact of running”.

As the only amateur slated for this race my sole aim is to depict the Olympic slogan which is to “inspire a generation” Obiekwe said.

Obiekwe has participated in several of the world marathon majors as the sole Nigerian representative, including Berlin and Boston Marathons.

She was tapped by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) as an exempt (non-qualified) participant in the marathon.

A teary eyed Obiekwe said she is taking the decision to protect the interest of her country.

“Given my times relative to the Olympic field, it is crucial I step to the starting line at peak fitness, so I represent my country with pride and honour. I now recognise I am unable to ensure this. It would be selfish of me to insist on participation in this physical condition for 42 kilometers. I have always said that the name on the front of my team uniform (Nigeria) is more important than the name on the back (Obiekwe)”. She said