IAAF World Championships: 16 Athletes of Nigerian descent set to compete for other nations
The 16th edition of the IAAF World Championships is set to get underway today, Aug. 4th – 13th in the Queens city, London, United Kingdom and about 18 athletes will be donning the Green and White colours of Nigeria while 16 others, though of Nigerian descent but they will be flying the flag of other nations. They are:
Great Britain is referred by many as second home for Nigerians and it is no surprise to see as high as seven athletes of Nigerian descent donning the colours of the host nation.
Most decorated on the list is Tifanny Porter (nee Ofili), the 100m hurdles specialist is currently ranked 14th in the Championship ranking and would have to run faster than her Season’s Best of 12.75. With the caliber of athletes in the field including Tobi Amusan (12.57s), if she’s looking forward to making the finals, she would definetly have to run faster like she did in 2013 to clinch the bronze medal.
Chijindu Ujah and James Dasaolu will both compete in the 100m wherein they are ranked 10th (9.98s) and 19th (10.06s) respectively and they will both team up with Adams Gemili and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey for the 4x100m relay event. It’s very rare to see Nigerians run the long distance races at World meets but Andrew Osagie has broken that jinx as he will competing in the men’s 1500m.
He’s currently ranked 40th on the Championships list with an SB of 1:45.73s but he would have to bring out that speed that made him run 1:43.77s in 2014 if he wishes to make the final.
Quatermile specialist, Anyika Onuora is one athlete we think should be running for Nigeria. She embraces the Nigerian culture so much as she shows this on her Instagram page. She will be competing in the 400m and 4x400m for the British team.
23 year-old, David Omoregie rounds up the figure to seven as he will compete in the men’s 110m hurdles.
It’s has now become a normal phenomenon to see African athletes switch allegiance to Arab nations such as Qatar and Bahrain in search of greener pastures. FOUR Nigerian athletes would be competing in the Red and White colours of Bahrain as the World Champs begin today.
Kemi Adekoya is topping the list of Nigerian athletes that will rep Bahrain. She’s the reigning IAAF World Indoor 400m Champion and she will be competing in the 400m hurdles for the Oil rich nation.
Edidiong Ofonime who represented Nigeria at the Youth and Junior level made her debut senior appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, this year, she will be competing in the Women’s 200m with an SB of 22.95s. She is ranked 32nd.
Salwa Eid Naser is a talented 400m youngster. Salwa will be competing in the Women’s 400m flat. The 19 year old athlete qualified for the Championships with an SB of 51.33s just .03s behind former compatriot, Ajayi Yinka.
Salwa has a Personal Best of 50.80s and she will be hoping on running faster than her current SB to make the final.
Salem Eid Yaqoob is one athlete who most people did not know about in Nigeria athletics circuit till he switched allegiance a few years ago. He competed at the Rio Olympics in the 200m and at this year’s World Champs, he will be competing in the same event and would be looking forward to make the semis and probably the finals.
The United States of America is one country who has a high number of Nigerians running for her after Great Britain but at this year’s Champs, only two athletes of Nigerian descent made the “most difficult team” in the world.
Third in the Championships ranking, Tianna Bartoletta (nee Madison) is a Long Jump specialist who was born to Nigerian parents in the US. She continued bearing Madison till 2012 when she got married to John Bartoletta. Tianna is the reigning World and Olympic champion in the Long Jump and she is the favourite to claim the title. The 31 year-old athlete is well known for her exceptional start in the 4x100m but we will not be seeing her do that this time as she didn’t make the relay squad. She will focus her attention on claiming her title when the Long Jump contest begin to Wednesday, August 9th.
Morolake Akinosun is a Lagos stare born athlete who relocated to the States with her parent’s when she was young and she began training and representing the country referred to as “God’s own country”.
Morolake was a Gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 4x100m and this year, she will be competing both in the 100m flat and relay. It’s certain that if there’s no technical error or baton dropping, the US team is sure of a medal in the sprint relay. The Yoruba native is currently ranked 8th (10.98s) ahead of Blessing Okagbare (10.99s).
It might sound weird to most people but YES! We got athletes of Nigerian descent competing for Italy. Folorunsho Ayomide is not a new face in the Italian as she has competed a few times internationally for the country. This year, she will be competing in the 400m hurdles wherein she is ranked 27th with an SB of 55.82s and she is also listed to take part in the 4x400m.
Mariabenedicta Chigbolu is another Nigerian that would be donning the Blue colors of the Italian side. She will be running the 400m and 4x400m alongside Folorunsho.
Despite not making the 10.12s standard in the men’s100m, 24 year-old Mobolade Ajomale will be taking part in the 4x100m relay for Canada. Mobolade who has been competing for Canada since 2012 was part of the bronze winning relay team at the Rio Olympics after USA was disqualified. He will be hoping to add another relay medal to his title.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Though not a popular country. 23 year-old Ifeanyi Otuonye decided to represent the nation probably because he was born there. Ifeanyi holds TKS national record in the Long Jump with 7.88m but will be representing the country in the men’s 200m in London. He started competing for the European country in 2010 at the CARIFTA Games (U17) and has won several medals since then.
We wish them the very best as they compete!