Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will no longer compete in the World Athletics Championship, Doha 2019, after breaching the competition rules.
Oduduru and Okagbare were initially entered for three events each in the Men and Women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.
However, 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.
Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru won’t be competing in the Women’s and Men’s 100m event respectively.
Both athletes have decided to rather focus on the 200m and relay events. Contrary to speculations, none of the athletes are injured.
— Athletics Federation of Nigeria (@The_AFN) September 27, 2019
Consequently, on event day Oduduru was not listed in the Men’s 200m heat, because of a violation in the regulations.
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.
For more context on why Divine Oduduru will no longer participate in the 200m: the IAAF rule states that any athlete who withdraws from an event after being confirmed in the final entry list, will have to forfeit subsequent events #WorldAthleticsChamps #TeamNaija pic.twitter.com/Y0AkaShFXG
— Making of Champions (@MakingOfChamps) September 28, 2019
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.
Meanwhile the AFN is yet to issue a statement on what is an obvious technical gaffe.
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