Okagbare fails to win IAAF Athletes Commission seat

First from behind….Africa and Commonwealth track queen, Blessing Okagbare placed last in the 100m final  last Sunday

First from behind….Africa and Commonwealth track queen, Blessing Okagbare placed last in the 100m final last Sunday

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare completed a disappointing World Athletics Championships on Sunday at Beijing in China by losing out in the race for a place on the IAAF Athletes Commission.

The election into the commission was held in the official team hotels between Aug. 23 and Aug. 29 on the sidelines of the 15th IAAF World Championships which ended on Sunday.

Okagbare was among the 16 candidates who put their names forward for the six places on offer, with all 1,873 athletes accredited for the IAAF World Championships eligible to vote.

But she could only muster 424 votes by the time the final count was done and announced on Sunday, placing 11th and five places below the cut-off.

The six newly-elected representatives include (in alphabetical order) Valerie Adams of New Zealand, Mutaz Barshim of Qatar, Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia and Koji Murofushi of Japan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rest elected representatives are Christian Olsson of Sweden and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.

All 1873 athletes accredited for the championships tagged “Beijing 2015’’ had the right to vote in the elections.

But the total number of votes cast was 1310, with valid votes being 1267 since ballots were rejected if more or less than six candidates were selected by a voter.

To be eligible for the election, an athlete must have been nominated by their own IAAF member-federation as a candidate for the IAAF Athletes Commission.

Also, the athlete must have participated in at least one of the past two editions of the IAAF World Championships or in the most recent Olympic Games.

In the alternative, the athlete must have been a competitor at this year’s IAAF World Championships.

NAN reports that the six representatives will begin their mandate on Jan. 1, 2016.



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