By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
World Athletics has disqualified the Nigerian women’s 4x400m team from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a country seeking qualification petitioned the WA, pointing out technical errors in the qualification race.
The 4×400 teamnconsisting of Nse Imaobong, Favour Ofili, Knowledge Omovoh, and Patience Okon-George, qualified for the Olympics at the Lagos Open Athletics Championships race on June 24, 2021.
The team ran a Season’s Best 3:26.83 at the event, which saw them climb to 13th on the WA Top List from the 18th position they initially occupied.
According to an anonymous source in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, the WA disqualified the Nigerian team because another country that had been affected by the updated rankings the athletics body to disqualify Nigeria on the baspetitionedis of technical errors.
“The race has been disqualified; one of the countries on the Top List was pushed out of qualification places while we went up. So, the country sent the race video to World Athletics.
“In curve races, the results don’t count if there are no cones. In Team Nigeria’s case, they didn’t put cones where the second leg diverted to lane one. That’s the error.
“It is a shame that we are saying this out; that people who call themselves professionals handled things this way. It was the same reason they did not accept the Asaba race (2018 African Athletics Championships), once there are no cones round, or there are no railings, it wouldn’t be accepted,” the source said.