AFN moves to reduce Okagbare’s events at Rio 2016 Olympics
Releases entry standard, dangles $50,000 on medalists
Determined to make a big difference at next year’s summer Olympic Games in Brazil, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has advised reigning Commonwealth sprints queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, to drop the 200m event from her schedule.
The Athletics body wants Okagbare to concentrate on two major events, the 100m and long jump, where it feels the athlete has a brighter prospect of winning a medal for the country. The AFN has also released entry standard for athletes intending to represent Nigeria at the Rio Olympics.
Speaking with The Guardian in Lagos yesterday, the President of Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria, Gabriel Okon, said that Okagbare would be doing herself a great honour if she could drop the 200m race from her training schedule ahead of the Olympics.
“We see the 200m as a big load for Okagbare and we will want her to focus attention on 100m and long jump events because we believe that is where she has brighter chances of winning medals for Nigeria at the Olympics,” Okon said.
According to him, Nigerian athletics have already secured two slots for Rio Olympics. “Our female 4x100m and 4x400m relay have already qualified for the Olympics and we are working very hard to see the male 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams booked their tickets. It will happen,” Okon assured.
Meanwhile, the AFN has also revealed monetary incentives for athletes that achieve the federation’s entry standard, the highest being $50,000 for any Team Nigeria track and field athlete that wins a gold medal in Rio.
According to AFN’s Head of Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, athletes that intend to compete in the men and women 100m must run 10.09secs and 11.10secs respectively.
For the 200m, the men must run 20.20secs and the women 22.50secs. In the 400m, the entry standard is 45.20secs for men and 50.90secs for women.
For athletes intending to compete in the men 800m, the standard is 1.45.30secs and 2.00.00secs for women.
The men 110 hurdles standard is 13.35secs and women100m hurdles is 12.85secs. Intending athletes in the men and women 400m hurdles must run 48.95secs and 54.93secs respectively, while the men’s high jump standard is 2.31 meters and women 1.98m.
Men long jumpers must jump 8.20m and women 6.90meters. Triple jumpers dreaming of Rio Olympics must achieve 17.25m for the men and 14.60m for the women. For pole-vault, the standard is 5.70m for men and 4.60m for women.
Men and women shot-put throwers must achieve 20.60m and 18.50m, while the standard for discuss throw is 66.00m and 65.15m for women. 79.00m is the standard for men hammer and 72.20m for women. Male javelin throwers must achieve 83.00m and women 65.10m. 8,200 points is for decathlon, while hepthalon is 6,300points.
For the relays, 38.50secs is for men 4x100m and 42.00secs for women. The 4x400m men must run
3.00.00secs to qualify and the women 3.28.00secs.