IAAF World Indoor Championships: Nigeria records another barren outing

Tobi Amusan

Nigeria, for the umpteenth time, failed to win any shade of medal at the just concluded International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF World Indoor Championship in Birmingham, England.

This is the fifth successive edition in which Nigeria will be leaving empty-handed from the global event and not many will be surprised going by the build-up to the biennial championship.

The country literally shot itself having failed to get full representation at the Arena Birmingham; venue of the four-day action-packed indoor championship.

Nigeria failed to show up in the 4x400m Women’s relay event which was arguably the country’s best prospect for a podium finish.

The country’s sole entrant in the 400m Women’s Patience Okon-George was also conspicuously missing.

There was virtually not much difference for those that turned up to represent Nigeria as the chaotic travel arrangement had its toll on the athletes.

Competing in the men’s 400m, Chidi Okezie who pushed through into the semifinal could not go further as his disappointing 48.53 time saw him placed 17th out of 18 semifinalists.

It was the same story for Shot putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi who could only manage a throw of 19.78m to place 14th out of the 16 contestants for three podium appearances.

It was Sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan who gave Nigeria something to cheer as she made it all the way to final in the 60m hurdles event.

The feat by Amusan made her the second Nigerian man or woman to run in the final of the 60m hurdles event at the championships.

Lindley Lindsay the other Nigerian in the 60m hurdles event fell at the semi-final stage (8.08).

Unfortunately, Ms Amusan caved in on the biggest stage; finishing seventh (8.05) in the final as USA’s Kendra Harrisson came tops with a new 7.70 seconds personal best and championship record.

Nigeria last won an IAAF World Indoor Championships medal in 2008 in Valencia, Spain, courtesy of Olusoji Fasuba.

His incredible 6.51 seconds 60m run fetched a historic gold medal-the first for Africa- in the event.

Mr Fasuba who has since retired and now with the Military in the United Kingdom recently expressed disgust at how Athletics are being managed in Nigeria.

The fastest African sprinter even said he has lost faith in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

In a recent post on his official Facebook page, Fasuba wrote: “It’s so bad now, I thought the present crop of people in the federation(AFN) had plans. I know they have a big hurdle to jump, but they seem to want to try and go under the hurdle.

With the World Indoors now over, attention will next be on the Commonwealth Games which itself as been riddled with controversies.

The next IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing, China.

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