IAAF World Championships: I passed through stress going to London! -Abike Egbeniyi
The 16th edition of the IAAF World Championships tagged “London 2017” came to an end on Sunday, 14th August with many running, leaping and throwing National Records, Season’s Best, Personal Best’s and of course winning medals.
It was different for the Nigerian contingent as they came back with no medal for the second time in a row. The last time a Nigerian won a medal at the Championships was in 2013 by Blessing Okagbare who clinched a Silver in the Long Jump and a Bronze in the 200m.
At this year’s Champs, the 4x400m women’s squad was Nigeria’s best-bet for a medal but all hope was dashed as the team finished 5th about 1.32s slower than their heat on Friday.
In a post-race interview with media outlet, MakingOfChampions the ladies expressed their dismay but also gave thanks to God.
Abike Egbeniyi – who many Nigerian athletic buffs suggested should not have run in the final due to the fatigue and all that surrounded her trip to London -said she was stressed especially going to the British Embassy in Victoria Island, Lagos from her home in Ogun state a couple of times prior to her arrival on Friday as she was billed to compete on Saturday.
“What really happened is that I passed through stress, I stay in Ogun state with my mum and I had to travel all the way from there to Victoria Island, Lagos for my visa issue. I leave home 7:30am and leave the Embassy 3:30pm. So I think that really affected my performance but I give God the glory, I did my best. I’m in a good shape and I think I would have done better if I arrived earlier.”
The lead leg Patience Okon George, expressed herself on how she tried to keep the team together and did her best too.
“I feel good and happy. I thank God for the race. Well, I tried to put the team together to run a good race but since the race didn’t come we still give God the glory”.
Glory Nathaniel who ran the third leg didn’t have much to say but she thanked God for the race and hoped to give their best as a team at the Commonwealth Games next year and other major championships.
Yinka Ajayi who took the final leg felt she did her best.
“ We all did wonderfully well, I really tried my best to catch up with the Poland girl in third place. I used all the energy in me but to God be the Glory too”.
Patience Okon George gave solutions that could help the 4×400m team perform better in major competitions like the World Championships.
“The only way we can prepare better is when our financial needs are met. We need a stable place to train as a 4×400m team because most countries that got medals train as a team but it’s only in Nigeria that I see that we train at different locations and we try to gather ourselves together, which is not supposed to be so. We try to put in our team spirit here in the competition venue and after this, it’s gone.”
She later added that a stable place for training as a team will make them perform better and also get a medal in the 4×400m relay team in major international championships.
Until Nigeria start doing what other countries are doing to be a force to reckon with in Athletics, Track and Field in Nigeria will still remain as it is now.