No national trials, no ticket to Budapest, AFN tells foreign-based athletes

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…Amusan, Onwuzurike arrive today
…12 USA based stars train in Benin

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), says it will shut the doors to the 2023 World Championships billed for Budapest, Hungary, against any foreign-based athlete who fails to show up for the national trials in Benin City, Edo State.

AFN’s hard stand came just as 12 USA based athletes trained at the Samuel Ogbamudia Stadium, Benin City, on Monday in preparation for the event, which the country will use to select its flag bearers to the World Championships.

Today is arrival day for the championship, which begins Wednesday and ends on Thursday.

AFN Secretary General, Rita Mosindi, stated, that any foreign-based athlete, who failed to show up for the national trials, should consider him or herself out of the trip to Budapest.

“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.

“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,” Mosinde stated.

AFN Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku, also warned the athletes that plan to shun the trials. He said: “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.”

Meanwhile, AFN scribe, Mosinde has revealed that over 12 foreign-based athletes are already in Benin for the trials.
They are:

✓ Alaba Akintola
✓ Tima Godbless

✓ Ella Onouvevwo
✓ Ezekiel Nathaniel
✓ Ruth Usoro

All the country’s foreign-based throwers were expected to join the camp in Benin City yesterday evening.

She also 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, today.

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

Credit: Guardian

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