IAAF World Championships: Okagbare arrives London, visa glitch delays others

Blessing Okagbare
Photo: IAAF
Blessing Okagbare
Photo: IAAF

Top Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, has arrived London for the IAAF World Championships.

A statement from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, said the double medallists at the 14th edition of the championships in Moscow, Russia in 2013 arrived Tuesday to begin her final preparation four days before she takes to the track at the London stadium for the first round of the 100m event.

Okagbare is making her fourth trip to the championships.

However, the British Embassy in Nigeria is yet to issue entry visas to athletes who are scheduled to leave for London from Nigeria with only two days before the start of the championships.

AFN secretary general, Amaechi Akawo, said he has not received any positive response from the Embassy as at the close of work on Tuesday but believes the visas will be issued before the championships get underway on Friday.

“I am regularly in communication with the IAAF and I believe the embassy will realise the athletes and officials whose passports are before it are representing the most populous black nation on earth and a strong member of the Commonwealth nations,” he said.

Mr. Akawo also disclosed that the President of the Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, is already in London for the 51st IAAF Congress.

‘The president arrived London on Monday evening and has been checked into the IAAF hotel where Federation presidents from all affiliated federations are lodged for the Congress which began on Tuesday with the registration of delegates from over 200 national Member Federations,’” he said.

He also revealed that Mr. Gusau will on Wednesday morning join his other colleagues from over 200 countries in an innovative one-day convention called IAAF Athletics Connect- designed to bring together and inspire the global athletics community.

The Congress proper will be held on August 13, the eve of the championships.

The AFN president will be joined later on Wednesday by his vice, Olamide George, who is expected to depart the country tomorrow.


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