I have received several calls from within and outside the sport of athletics over my yesterday's piece.
First of all, I am not an outsider to the sport. I ran the tracks too. I was Nigeria's junior 200m champion in 1979.
|Ndanusa, NOC President|
Thirdly, some people accused me of personal scores to settle with the President of the AFN, Solomon Ogba. If this is true, can they provide a reasonable and responsible, fair and just position to the cases below.
Seun Adigun and Peter Emelieze:
Buffs of the sport know that in an Olympic year, athletes who make the B standard but can’t replicate same in the Olympic year can sneak into the team. That is probably how and why Seun Adigun and Peter Emelieze (100m) got their berths.
Last year, Emelieze ran 10.18 secs, an A standard. The B standard is 10.24secs. He made it. This year, his best time is 10.29secs. He did not make it. Seun Adigun made a B standard last year with her 13.13secs in Daegu but could not make same this year. Their placement in the Nigerian trial this year could have fetched them the space to the Olympics. This is logical.
The 400m troika:
Now, let’s get to the 400m men. The B standard is 45.90 secs. Last year, Tobi Ogunmola ran 45.82secs in Maputo on 13/09/11. Godday James ran 45.88secs in Calabar on the 23/06/12 while Abiola Onakoya ran 45.89secs. All these timing were B standard.
So, if the same rule that was used to accommodate Seun Adigun and Peter Emelieze were to be, nothing stops any three of Ogunmola, James and Onakoya from being registered in the 400m event of the London 2012 depending on their placement in the Nigerian national trial. So why were they not in the Olympic squad. Discretion of the federation?
This I also hope addresses the fears raised.Thanks God like Ogba and any of these athletes, if they meet me on the street don't know me.