Okagbare Ban Extended, Robs Nigeria Of World Athletics Championships Relay Spot

Blessing Okagbare
(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 30, 2021, Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women’s 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Blessing Okagbare has had her ban extended as Nigeria’s 4×100m relay team lose their qualification spot for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit, Okagbare’s 10-year ban has been extended by a year after she was found to have committed additional anti-doping rule violations.

The 33-year-old is said to have evaded sample collection, tampered, or attempted to tamper with the doping control process.

She was charged for her latest anti-doping rule violation on June 10, 2022.

Following her latest sanction, Okagbare seemed to respond with a cryptic message on social media.

 

As result, Nigeria’s 4x100m relay team have now lost their spot for July’s World Athletics Championships because Okagbare took part in the 4x100m event at the Nigeria Olympic trial six days after evading sample collection on June 13, 2021.

Consequently, all individual or relay results involving her from June 13, 2021, are now disqualified under the rules.

Nigeria’s 4×100m women’s team had the last qualification spot before this latest ruling and the deadline to achieve a fresh qualification time elapsed on Sunday.

Okagbare was banned earlier this year for 10 years on February 14 for testing positive for Human Growth Hormone and recombinant erythropoietin, popularly known as EPO, as well as for refusing to cooperate with the AIU’s investigation.

Nigerian Sprinter Blessing Okagbare Reacts To AIU’s 10-Year Ban

File photo: Blessing Okagbare

 

Top Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare has reacted to the 10-year ban slammed on her by the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Athletics Integrity Unit.

After being on suspension for over seven months with no clear direction on how her doping case will be adjudicated, the AIU on Friday announced that a 10-year ban has been placed on Okagbare.

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In her reaction, Okagbare hinted that her lawyers are already studying the AIU decision ahead of their next line of action

“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action which we will inform you soon,” Okagbare tweeted on Friday.

 

The 33-year-old, who is also a sprinter, was expelled from the Tokyo Olympics last year before the women’s 100m semi-finals after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.

The AIU in a statement issued on Friday explained why Okagbare was punished with a 10-year ban.

The AIU statement read in part: “The sole arbitrator adjudicating the case concluded that the athlete’s use of multiple prohibited substances as part of an organised doping regimen in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games was egregious conduct that amounted to aggravating circumstances under the Rules thereby warranting an additional period of ineligibility on top of the standard four-year sanction.”

 

 See below, AIU’s full statement…

 

Disciplinary Tribunal hands Blessing Okagbare a 10-year ban for
multiple breaches of the Anti-Doping Rules

18 FEBRUARY 2022, MONACO: The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years, five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.

The sole arbitrator adjudicating the case concluded that the athlete’s use of multiple prohibited substances as part of an organised doping regimen in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games was egregious conduct that amounted to aggravating circumstances under the Rules thereby warranting an additional period of ineligibility on top of the standard four-year sanction. The sole arbitrator also recognised the AIU’s right to carry out investigations, including the imaging of electronic devices, and to impose sanctions when an athlete refuses to co-operate with an investigation and thereby frustrates the AIU’s ability to fulfil its mandate to protect the integrity of the sport of athletics. In this instance, the sole arbitrator concluded that the athlete’s refusal to cooperate had denied the AIU the opportunity to discover evidence of possible further rule violations by her as well possible violations of the rules by others, for which he imposed an additional sanction of five years.

“We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal; a ban of 10-year is a strong message against intentional and co-ordinated attempts to cheat at the very highest level of our sport. This is an outcome that was driven by our intelligence-led target testing as well as our commitment to investigate the circumstances behind a positive test,” said Brett Clothier, Head of the AIU.

On 07 October 2021, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had pressed charges against Ms Okagbare in relation to separate disciplinary matters. First, for the presence and use of multiple (two) prohibited substances (human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) for which Ms Okagbare had been provisionally suspended on 31 July 2021, the day on which she had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100m. Subsequently, in accordance with Rule 12 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, she was charged with a refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.

The athlete has the right to appeal against the Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 30-days. The reasoned decision can be accessed here.

NOTE

On 12 January 2022, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the unsealing of a first criminal charge under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act against Eric Lira, a US based “naturopathic” therapist, who is alleged to have supplied performance enhancing drugs
to athletes before the Tokyo Olympic Games. The sole arbitrator concluded that Athlete 1 named in the criminal complaint is Blessing Okagbare. The criminal investigation in the United States is ongoing and the AIU is working closely with USADA to follow developments in the matter. The AIU is thankful to USADA, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for their contribution to the integrity of our sport.

Doping: Nigerian Sprinter Blessing Okagbare Banned For 10 Years

Blessing Okagbare tests positive for human growth hormone and EPO that forces her to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics
A file photo taken on July 30, 2021, shows Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021. Jewel SAMAD / AFP

 

Nigeria’s 2008 Olympics long jump silver medalist Blessing Okagbare has been banned for 10 years for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday. 

The 33-year-old, who is also a sprinter, was expelled from the Tokyo Olympics last year before the women’s 100m semi-finals after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.

“The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years,” read an AIU statement.

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“Five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.”

Okagbare — who also won long jump silver in the 2013 world outdoor championships where she added a 200m bronze — was not named but clearly identified in an indictment last month brought against her alleged supplier, Texas therapist Eric Lira.

US justice department officials in New York said Eric Lira, a 41-year-old “naturopathic” therapist based in El Paso, supplied drugs to two athletes for the “purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo Games.

‘Call me urgently’

The indictment included encrypted correspondence from Okagbare — identified only as “Athlete 1” — and Lira where the Nigerian testifies to the effectiveness of the substances following Olympic trials in Lagos on June 17, where she clocked a wind-assisted 10.63sec in the 100m.

“Hola amigo / Eric my body feel so good / I just ran 10.63 in the 100m on Friday / with a 2.7 wind / I am sooooo happy / Ericccccccc / Whatever you did, is working so well,” Okagbare wrote.

In a later message, Lira said Okagbare was poised to “dominate” in Tokyo.

Blessing Okagbare
(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 30, 2021 Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women’s 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.  Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

“What you did . . . is going to help you for the upcoming events,” Lira wrote. “You are doing your part and you will be ready to dominate.”

The indictment also included details of further exchanges between Okagbare and Lira after she is informed of her positive test.

“Call me urgently. . . [t]hey said one of my result came out positive on HGH . . . I don’t understand,” Okagbare wrote.

The case is the first time charges have been brought under the Rodchenkov Act — a law introduced in the United States in 2020 in the wake of Russia’s state-backed doping scandal.

The law, named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, enables US authorities to prosecute individuals involved in international doping fraud conspiracies.

The AIU said it is working closely with USADA “to follow developments in the matter (the criminal investigation),” regarding Lira and the ‘sole arbitrator’ that worked on her doping case had identified Okagbare as ‘Athlete 1’.

“On 12 January 2022, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the unsealing of a first criminal charge under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act against Eric Lira, a US based “naturopathic” therapist, who is alleged to have supplied performance enhancing drugs to athletes before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The sole arbitrator concluded that Athlete 1 named in the criminal complaint is Blessing Okagbare.”

 

See AIU’s full press release below:

Disciplinary Tribunal hands Blessing Okagbare a 10-year ban for
multiple breaches of the Anti-Doping Rules

18 FEBRUARY 2022, MONACO: The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years, five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.

The sole arbitrator adjudicating the case concluded that the athlete’s use of multiple prohibited substances as part of an organised doping regimen in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games was egregious conduct that amounted to aggravating circumstances under the Rules thereby warranting an additional period of ineligibility on top of the standard four-year sanction. The sole arbitrator also recognised the AIU’s right to carry out investigations, including the imaging of electronic devices, and to impose sanctions when an athlete refuses to co-operate with an investigation and thereby frustrates the AIU’s ability to fulfil its mandate to protect the integrity of the sport of athletics. In this instance, the sole arbitrator concluded that the athlete’s refusal to cooperate had denied the AIU the opportunity to discover evidence of possible further rule violations by her as well possible violations of the rules by others, for which he imposed an additional sanction of five years.

“We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal; a ban of 10-year is a strong message against intentional and co-ordinated attempts to cheat at the very highest level of our sport. This is an outcome that was driven by our intelligence-led target testing as well as our commitment to investigate the circumstances behind a positive test,” said Brett Clothier, Head of the AIU.

On 07 October 2021, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had pressed charges against Ms Okagbare in relation to separate disciplinary matters. First, for the presence and use of multiple (two) prohibited substances (human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) for which Ms Okagbare had been provisionally suspended on 31 July 2021, the day on which she had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100m. Subsequently, in accordance with Rule 12 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, she was charged with a refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.

The athlete has the right to appeal against the Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 30-days. The reasoned decision can be accessed here.

NOTE

On 12 January 2022, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the unsealing of a first criminal charge under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act against Eric Lira, a US based “naturopathic” therapist, who is alleged to have supplied performance enhancing drugs
to athletes before the Tokyo Olympic Games. The sole arbitrator concluded that Athlete 1 named in the criminal complaint is Blessing Okagbare. The criminal investigation in the United States is ongoing and the AIU is working closely with USADA to follow developments in the matter. The AIU is thankful to USADA, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for their contribution to the integrity of our sport.

AFN Shocked Over Okagbare’s Suspension From Tokyo Olympics

A combination of file photos of Blessing Okagbare and the AFN logo.

 

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria says it received with great shock the press release by the Athletics Integrity Unit, suspending Blessing Okagbare from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics over a doping rule violation.

In a statement after AIU made the disclosure, the Federation said it was in the process of obtaining the relevant details of the announcement after which it would issue a full reaction.

AIU is an independent body created by World Athletics to manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping.

It noted that the Nigerian 100/200m record holder has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect after a sample collected from the 32-year-old tested positive for Human Growth Hormone.

READ ALSO‘Dreams Shattered,’ Disqualified Nigerian Athletes Protest In Tokyo

Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

AIU explained that it collected the sample from Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on July 19, saying the WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time on Friday.

The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension on Saturday morning in Tokyo.

She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m scheduled for Saturday evening at the ongoing Olympic Games.

Okagbare’s suspension followed the disqualification of 10 other Nigerian athletes declared ineligible to compete at the games by AIU.

Those affected are Ruth Usoro, Favour Ofili, Annette Echikunwoke, Chioma Onyekwere, Glory Patrick, Chidi Okezie, Tima Godbless, Rosemary Chukwuma, Yinka Ajayi, and Knowledge Omovoh.

AIU said that the affected Nigerians were disqualified along with eight athletes from other countries while two others were replaced prior to the submission of their entries to World Athletics.

It explained that the affected athletes, who represented some ‘Category A’ Federations, were disqualified from the final entries for the Olympics for failing to meet the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules.

AIU listed the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations to include Nigeria, Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

Nigeria was listed in ‘Category A’ at the start of 2020 after a continued period of weak domestic testing levels.

Okagbare Suspended From Tokyo Olympics After Failing Drug Test

Okagbare was expected to lead Nigeria’s push for medals in Tokyo.

 

One of Nigeria’s brightest chances of a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Blessing Okagbare, has been provisionally suspended from the competition.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the independent body created by the World Athletics that manages all integrity issues for the sport, announced the decision on Friday.

According to the AIU, Okagbare tested positive for Human Growth Hormone.

“Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules,” the AIU said in its statement.

“The AIU collected the sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo.

“She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.

“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

Okagbare and another Nigerian sprinter, Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, had earlier qualified from their respective heats for the semi-finals.

But the ban means the end of the road for Okagbare, who was participating in her third Olympics.

Her suspension is the latest blow for Team Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics.

On Thursday, the AIU had disqualified 10 Nigerian athletes from the Tokyo games for not complying with out-of-competition drug testing requirements.

Okagbare, Nwokocha Advance To 100m Semis At Tokyo Olympics

A combination of file photos of Nigerian athletes, Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha.

 

For the first time since 2012, two Nigerian athletes will be running in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m after Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Okagbare will be running in her third semis since she made her debut in the event at the London 2012 Olympics. She ran 11.05 seconds to win her first-round heat.

The 32-year-old has been drawn in the first semi-final heat alongside two heavyweights of the event – defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica who ran 10.82 seconds to win her first-round heat, and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion two years ago in Doha, Qatar who ran 11.07 seconds to come second in her first-round heat.

Okagbare, 2008 Beijing Olympics Long Jump silver medallist, will be in action at exactly 11.15 am Nigerian time on Saturday.

Nwokocha, on her part, ran a new personal best of 11.00 seconds to secure her qualification to the semi-finals in her debut at the Olympics.

The 20-year-old has also moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90), Mary Onyali (10.97), and Damola Osayomi (10.99).

The home-based athlete who posted 11.09 seconds to secure her qualification for the Olympics in March at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos will, however, need to make further history by breaking the 11 seconds barrier as the fifth Nigerian woman to do so to stand a chance of joining Onyali and Okagbare as debutants who ran all the way to the final of the event.

She has been drawn to run from lane nine in the third semi-final heat with the fastest woman alive, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, as well as Daryl Neita of Great Britain, Teahna Daniels of the USA, and fellow African, Muriel Ahoure of Ivory Coast.

Tokyo Olympics: Okagbare To Inspire Nigeria’s Track And Field Team

blessing okagbare tokyo 2020
Okagbare is expected to lead Nigeria’s push for medals in track and field in Tokyo.

 

Blessing Okagbare’s vast experience and remarkable performances is expected to inspire Team Nigeria’s track and field athletes when they start competing at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 30th.

Alongside Okagbare are eleven other athletes namely: Oluwatobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Divine Oduduru, Grace Nwokocha, Chukwuebuka Enewechi, Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itshekiri, Patience Okon-George, Imaobong Uko and Emmanuel Ojeli.

Favour Ofili and Ruth Usoro, both US-based collegiate athletes, who came into the Nigerian Olympics radar late in the qualifiers have completed two of the three mandatory out of competition tests, OCT, required and are awaiting final clearance.

READ ALSO: Fans Urged To Stay Away From Olympic Marathon Over COVID-19 Fears

Ten Nigerian athletes – most of whom are alternates who have not fulfilled the three mandatory OCT tests required – are in the process of taking their tests.

They must take the final tests one day before the competition. The process to get them tested has since been activated by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

The athletics team has moved into the Olympic Village from their training camp in Kizarazu and will be in action from day one of the competition with Okagbare leading Grace Nwokocha in the women’s 100m heats.

The mixed relay team will also be in action as the team strives to return to the podium 13 years after it last did at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad held in Beijing, China in 2008.

While Okagbare will be competing in the event for the third time since she made it to the final at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012, Nwokocha, the fastest home-based athlete since Mercy Nku ran 11.04 seconds in 1997 in Benin, will be making her Olympics debut in Tokyo

Okagbare Wins 8th National 100M Title

Blessing Okagbare.
Blessing Okagbare.

 

Nigeria’s undisputed queen of the track, Blessing Okagbare has raced to victory in the women’s 100m events on the opening day of the 2021 National Olympic Games trial in Lagos.

Okagbare an Olympics, World, and Commonwealth Games medalist finished in 10.62 seconds finish to win the women’s 100m title and her eighth National title in the event. With the win, she pushed aside Endurance Ojokolo to become the second most decorated sprinter in the blue ribband race after Mary Onyali who won 11 titles.

US-based athlete, Rosemary Chukwuma finished second in 11.07 while National Sports Festival winner, Grace Nwokocha finished third in 11.11 seconds to keep her fine form going.

In the semi-final heat, the experienced athlete showed fans what to expect in the final when she scorched to a 10.99 seconds finish.

Her 10.63 seconds result is the fastest time ever recorded in the national championship and the 2014 Commonwealth Games double sprint gold medal winner said she is in great form ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games.

“I feel healthy, stronger and like the real Blessing Okagbare again. I am really happy that this time came down today, it will boost my confidence, my faith and trust in God. I just hope this same thing happens at the Olympics,” she said.

“I have been working on everything and I hope it counts at the big stage, that’s the Olympics. I was very disappointed at my last meet when I ran 11.2, I was like this is not me, so when they mentioned the trials, I said I am going to be there, not because I just want to run, but because I really want to compete and run well. But above all, I am healthier and when you have good health, the confidence will be there, and I am hoping for the best in Tokyo.

“I have to go to the Olympics, do better than I did, or better still replicate it, you might not need to run like this to win the Olympics, at the Games you just want to get to the finishing line.”

In the men’s category, with the absence of US-based Divine Oduduru and Raymond Ekevwo, the fans were looking up to the Edo 2020 Festival duo of Alaba Akintola and rave of the moment, Enoch Adegoke to win the trials.

Akintola however picked up an injury in the semis leaving Adegoke who raced home in a new 10.00 seconds personal best and also confirmed his place in Team Nigeria’s flight to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Adegoke thought he had made the 10.05 seconds entry standard in the semi-final but he was just one-hundredth of a second off the time as he was timed 10.06 seconds.

Blessing Okagbare Set To Make New Records At Commonwealth Games

Blessing Okagbare’s quest to successfully defend her Commonwealth Games 100 and 200 metres sprint titles and make new records will be boosted by her new African record over the longer distance.

Last month, the Nigerian shattered compatriot Mary Onyali’s 22-year-old mark of 22.07secs when she ran 22.04secs in Texas, the fastest time in the world this year.

It could provide a psychological edge for Okagbare, who is coming off an injury-hit 2017 and will face Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica in the 200m in Gold Coast.

Onyali set the African record in Zurich in 1996, and the closest anyone had came to breaking it was when Marie Ta-Lou of the Ivory Coast ran 22.08secs in 2017.

Onyali said she was delighted it was her “daughter and sister” Okagbare who lowered her record.

“This will put her in the right frame of mind for the Commonwealth Games,” Onyali said. “She has been knocking for some years now and finally she has got it.

“For some time now she has not been in her right element, especially at the last world championships. But she went back, trained very hard and we can see the result of her perseverance.”

Okagbare has for many years now been Nigeria’s biggest medal hope at major athletics competitions, and winning the sprint double in Glasgow four years ago was a career highlight.

At the last Commonwealth Games, she won the 100m in a Games-record 10.85, and the 200m in 22.25. She also helped Nigeria win silver in the 4x100m relay with a time of 42.92.

Okagbare has an Olympic bronze in the long jump from Beijing 2008 and took 200m bronze at the 2013 world championships.

She has often struggled with her start, especially in the 100m, but if she gets that right, she should be among the medals.

The sprinter, who is married to a former Nigeria football star, will be 30 in October and has bounced back this season after her injury problems last year.

AFP

IAAF Championships: Okagbare Qualifies For long Jump Final

Blessing Okagbare (File photo)

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare has qualified for the final of the long jump event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

Okagbare leaped 6.51 metres today to place second in her group behind Britain’s Lorraine Ugen who posted 6.63 metres.

However, Commonwealth Champion Ese Brume failed to meet the qualification standard with a jump of 6.38 metres.

IAAF Championships: Okagbare Advances, Nathaniel, Enekwechi Crash Out

Nigerian Sprinter, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguanor has qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 100 metres event at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in London.

The Commonwealth champion recovered from a bad start to finish the race in 11.22 seconds behind America’s Tori Bowie who ended the race comfortably in 11.05 seconds.

The Nigerian champion has been drawn in the third semifinal Race at the London event and she will have to overcome Ivorian and current African record holder, Muriel Ahoure and the impressive Marie-Jose Ta Lou as well as the hugely talented Tori Bowie of the USA.

Okagbare-Ighoeguanor, drawn in lane 5 will also have to consider the quality of Trinidad and Tobago sprinter, Michelle-Lee Ahye and Britain’s Asha Philips.

The Nigerian will hope to secure one of the two automatic qualifying slots for the final or post a good result to qualify as one of the two fastest losers.

Meanwhile shot putter Enekwechi Chukwuebuka failed to make history in the event as the first Nigerian to compete in the final of the event in the championships as his 19.72m effort was not good enough to throw him into the final.

In the 400 metres event, Samson Nathaniel ran 46.63 seconds to finish fifth in his opening round heat and subsequently crashed out. Same as two full laps runner, Edosie Ibadin whose impressive 1:46.61 run could secure qualification into the final.

 Read Also: IAAF Clears Edosie, Egwin To Compete For Nigeria

AFN Names Okagbare, 11 Others For IAAF World Championships

Blessing Okagbare

Sprinter Blessing Okagbare and sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan will lead Nigeria’s team of 12 Athletes to the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London, England, from August 4th to 13th.

Okagbare will be making her fourth competitive appearance at the event while Amusan will be making her debut.

Others listed are reigning Commonwealth long jump queen Ese Brume, Glory Nathaniel, Emerald Egwin, Abike Egbeniyi as well as the Quartermile trio of Patience Okon-George, Yinka Ajayi and Margaret Bamgbose.

For the men, Samson Nathaniel, Chukwuebuka Enekwachi and Edose Ibadin will also be making their first appearance at the Championships.

Nigeria have won a total of eight medals in the championships made up of four silver medals (Innocent Egbunike in the 400m in 1987; the 4x100m men in 1997; Glory Alozie in the 100m Hurdles in 1999, and Blessing Okagbare in the long jump in 2013), and four bronze medals (Ajayi Agbebaku in the Triple Jump in 1983; the men’s 4x400m team in 1995; Francis Obikwelu in the 200m in 1999 and Blessing Okagbare in the 200m in 2013).

Read Also: Okagbare Hopes To Build On Season’s Best