Nigerian Athletes Speak On Tough Standard
Top Nigerian athletes have reacted to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for changing the entry qualification for next year’s World Athletics Championship, slated for Daegu in Korea from August 27th to September 4 2011
To qualify for the championship, Nigerian athletes must run faster to meet the new standard which was set by the IAAF. The new entry for the A and B standards for men and women in the 100m race are 10.18 (A) and 10.25 (B) seconds respectively for men while last year’s standard was 10.21 and 10.28. For the women’s race, the entry standard was raised to 11.29 seconds (A) and 11.38 (B) from the previous 11.30 seconds (A) 11.40 (B) marks.
According to 2010 ECOWAS Games U-23 gold medalist, Agbaje Ovie Fredrick who said that though the standards are high, it is not too high to be a barrier for any of Nigeria’s athletes.
“Fine the standards are high but not too high for me to beat with or without the said support from government. Nigeria athletes are determine, that is why we are progressing and I don’t see this new entry standards as barrier to any of us,”
Also reacting to the new laid down entry standards by the IAAF, another gold medalist at the ECOWAS U-23 Games in Abuja and Berlin 2010 World Athletics championships semi finalist, Ogho Oghene Egwero stressed that the standards are high but attainable.
“I think the standards are very high but they are attainable, I won the ECOWAS Games gold medal in Abuja this year with a time of 10.01 so I don’t think that will be a problem for me.”
Similarly, triple jumper Elsie Domike said: “Watch out for the best from our athletes, am very positive we will be there come 2011 because this kind of things motivates our athletes.”
It would be recalled that Nigeria won no medals at the last World Championship in Berlin, Germany while sprinter Gloria Kemasuode, shot putter Vivian Chukwuemeka, and 400m huddler, Amaka Ogoegbunam sent home for using metholone, a performance enhancing drug.