The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Thursday announced a team of 37 athletes (20 female and 17 male) for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from 4-15 April.
Commonwealth Games double sprint champion, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will lead the Athletics team to Gold Coast 2018 as she attempts to defend her women’s 100m and 200m titles from Glasgow 2014.
Okagbare would be joined by sprint hurdler Oluwatobiloba Amusan, former high jump champion Doreen Amata, national record-holder in the women’s 20km Walk, Fadekemi Olude, and veteran 400m runner Patience Okon-George.
However, the Athletics Nigeria selections was not without controversy after the omission of national 100m champion, Seye Ogunlewe, who competed in the heats and semi-final of the Commonwealth Games Trials held recently in Abuja, and the reigning African and Commonwealth Games long jump Champion Ese Brume.
Sunday Adeleye, technical director of the AFN, told a local paper that “everyone on the list deserves to be there”.
“We are going to Australia with 37 athletes, who are mostly qualified and we are sure can compete favourably for medals at the Games because Nigeria won’t be in Australia to add to the numbers,” he told The Punch.
“Oduduru is not going to the Games because he is on scholarship and schooling in the US. Since we are not the ones sponsoring him and paying his bills, we cannot tell him to neglect the programme of the school for the Commonwealth Games.
“For Ese, she won’t be going because we don’t have much update on her performance this season. She didn’t come for the trials and we haven’t seen her compete in events on the international scene so far. We want to select athletes on current form and give everyone a fair chance to make the Games,” Adeleye added.
Team Nigeria – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
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