Controversy trails scheduling of men & women 100m finals at All-Nigeria T&F trials

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 25 June 2011 - 11:15am

Reactions has not stopped since the Nigerian athletics federation decided to run the 100m men and women finals on the opening ceremony day of the All Nigeria/Cross River Athletics Championships that ended weekend in Calabar, capital of Cross River.

…it was wrong, says athletes

Some of the athletes who don’t want their names in print said the decision was taking without considering them.

A US-based athlete said it has never been seen before, that athletes were made to run more than two races in a day, she said they are human beings and should have been considered before the decision was taken by the AFN.

“I did not expect this to happen because I have never in my career seen such decision, at least we the athletes should have been considered, we are humans and should rest after running.

“There is nowhere in the world that athletes run more than two races in a day and even the IAAF states that also, so it was wrong for the AFN to have done what they did,” she said.

Debunking the explanation by a board member of the federation that athletes were screened out of the race because they did not meet the set standard during the AFN All Comers and Golden League, a Delta State athlete said since it was a national trial, all athletes should have been allowed to run and compete.

He said the idea of removing some athletes removed the competition from the races.

…AFN doping officer says it sapped athlete’s strength

Also reacting to the decision by the AFN to run both finals in one day, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Doping and Control officer, Dr. Ken Anujekwe said it was morally wrong to have the athletes run the finals and qualifiers in one day, he said it is not done anywhere as doing it made the athletes not to put in their best because of tiredness.

Dr. Ken who spoke from Port Harcourt where he said he monitored the championships, said the race deterred the performances of the athletes, moral and physical strength and that was why they came out with poor time saying US Tyson Gay came out with a 10.1 on Friday.

The doping doctor said the finishing time by the first three men and women was not good enough to win a medal in the World Champs taking place in Korea.

Anujekwe said the IAAF rules states that it is wrong to run more than two races in a day and that the semi final and final of all race should be one hour apart.

…As AFN explains reasons for action

Meanwhile, explaining the reason for the decision to run both races and finals in one day, board member and also a Technical committee member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Jide Josiah said athletes should stop crying over nothing as a standard was set for all but those that did not meet the standard where weeded off  the championships.

And that it was the reason the remaining athletes did not run much heat and that it will be a waste of time to run one race on the first day and run the other two days later.

He also said a time of 11 seconds and 12 seconds were set for the men and women respectively.

It would be recalled that the women 100m had Okagbare winning with photo finish time of 11.22 seconds with her closest rival, Damola Osayomi clocking 11.23 seconds to take silver while former US runner, Gloria Asumnu took the bronze medal with a of 11.36.

In the men’s race, Ogho-Oghene Egwero took the gold with a time of 10.34 seconds, Obinna Metu silver with a time of 10.35 and Peter Emelizie bronze with 10.48 seconds.

So what do you think? Should the AFN had held all the 100m races on the first day of the Championships instead of the usual two-day schedule?