The Nigerian duo of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru did not partake in the 100m sprints at the ongoing World Athletics championships after they had been confirmed to run.
Their failures to show up for the 100m events in the women and men’s categories respectively ran foul of the IAAF Rule 142.4.
An excerpt of the rule states that “an athlete shall be excluded from participation in all further events 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 Oduduru, the lane on which he should run was empty and a ‘did not start’ message written on his name in the result sheet on Friday, and he has been disqualified from participating in the 200m men’s event which begins on Sunday.
Okagbare also pulled out of Saturday’s women’s 100m heats and risks suffering a similar fate as her compatriot in Doha.
Both Oduduru and Okagbare could also miss the relay events as they were initially entered for three events each in the Men and Women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.
Sources in Doha say the duo had informed Sunday Adeleye, the technical director of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), they would not be participating in the 100m event, but their names still managed to get on the start list.
Other competent sources in the AFN told CompleteSports.com that the IAAF was properly notified but they could not explain why Oduduru and Okagbare’s names appeared on the start list.
Recall that a similar infraction was committed in Beijing, China four years ago when Okagbare failed to come out for the 200m after placing last in the final of the 100m.
AFN’s explanation that she had medical issues was not bought by the IAAF and the sprinter was not allowed to run in the 4x100m relay at the Championships.
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