“No World Championship tickets for foreign-based athletes that shun national trials”

AHEAD of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in c, Hungary, billed to hold from August 19 to 27, Nigerian foreign-based athletes who fail to show up at national trials in Benin risk exclusion from the international sporting event.

The national trials, the preliminaries stage where athletes who would represent the country at the international event are to be selected, is slated for Thursday, July 6 till Friday, July 8.

Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Rita Mosindi, said there will be no slot at the World Athletics Championship for any foreign-based athlete who failed to show up for the national trials.

Mosindi insisted that the AFN will ensure that selection of athletes for the Championship is done according to the rules.

“AFN has a policy in the selection of athletes for major competitions, including the World Championships. If you don’t come for the national trials, you won’t go to Budapest.”

However, she said only on the condition of ill-health can an athlete miss the national trials.

“The only condition for the AFN to consider such athlete for the World Championship is, if he or she tenders a genuine case of ill-health. In that case, our medical team has to be notified and the board has to take a decision on it. For now, no athlete has informed me of his or her absence from the national trials.



    “We have only heard rumour that some athletes would not be here for the national trials, but the rules are clear. If you don’t come, forget the ticket,” she stated.

    AFN Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku, added: “Some of the athletes feel that they have already qualified for the World Championships with A Standard. But it is the AFN that will register them for the World Championships. Anybody who fails to show up in Benin City is on their own,” he said.

    Tobi Amusan, other expected at national trials

    The AFN’s Secretary General revealed that reigning sprint hurdles world champion, Tobiloba Amusan and Nigeria’s best 200m runner at the moment, Udodi Onwuzurike, are among athletes expected in Benin City.

    “Tobi Amusan’s flight from Sweden was cancelled on Monday, but we are expecting her,” she added.

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