The International Association of Atheltics Federations, IAAF, has finally granted the wishes of middle distance runner Edosie Ibadin and quartermiler Emerald Egwin to switch allegiance from their country of birth, USA, to their parents’ country, Nigeria.
The duo had been registered by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, for the ongoing world championships in London; but the IAAF rejected their registration and asked for further proofs that they are bonafide Nigerians.
This was done with the athletes presenting their parents’ birth certificate.
Their clearance to don the green and white colours of Nigeria was thus granted and the Edo State born Edosie will thus be in action today in the men’s 800m while Egwin will have to wait till the penultimate day of the championships to compete when the women’s 4x400m relay team take to the track at the Olympic stadium.
The inclusion of the duo brings to 20 the number of athletes Nigeria has registered for the competition. Meanwhile, quarter-miler Yinka Ajayi is expected to join the team Saturday morning after getting her visa from the British embassy in Nigeria while Abike Egbeniyi who will be competing in the women’s 4x400m relay will have to make another trip to the embassy on Monday for her visa.
Three journalists, Esan Oludare, Charles Ogundiya and Tunde Eludini are also waiting on the embassy to grant their entry visas to cover the championships which began Friday in London.
While the duo of Ogundiya and Eludini will be covering their first IAAF worlds, Esan will be going for his ninth after covering the 6th edition in Athens, Greece, the 7th in Sevilla, Spain, the 8th in Edmonton, Canada in 2001 as well as the 9th in Paris in 2003,the 11th in Osaka, Japan in 2007,the 12th in Berlin, Germany in 2009,the 14th in Moscow, Russia four years ago and the 15th edition two years ago in Beijing, China.