The final list of athletes going to the 21st Commonwealth Games has been released by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, three-time national champion Seye Ogunlewe was amongst the notable names dropped from the list.
Other notable names left out from the list include; Commonwealth champion in women’s long jump, Ese Brume and 200m silver medallist at the 2015 All Africa Games, Divine Oduduru.
The exclusion came as a surprise with lots of questions raised and answers were needed to what must have gone wrong to especially Ogunlewe who came all the way from his base in the US to take part in the trials.
ACLSports gathered from a reliable source who spoke on the guise of anonymity why Ogulewe’s name was not included.
“Seye was supposed to race on Thursday April 15 but he was told on Tuesday night at the stadium after completing his training session that the event was going to hold the next day. He informed his coach about the change which his coach did encourage him to go ahead and compete. He ran on Wednesday heats at 1pm which was originally scheduled in the morning and jogged 10.31 secs, he also went on to win semis despite the hot temperatures, the three time National champion had to race. But the young lad couldn’t continue in that condition and had to open up.”
The source continues “There is a suitable time, temperature and condition for a professional athlete to race and I believe the Athletics Federation of Nigeria should know what to do”.
In a chat with AFN technical director, Sunday Adeleye, he explained that Ogunlewe’s omission was as a result of running only two laps – the heat and the semis.
“He ran the heats perfectly well, came to meet me after the semi-final that everything is working well for him but he won’t be able to run the finals and I asked why. If you had not come for the finals it would have been a different case but you came. It will be unfair to see you at the Commonwealth Games and you didn’t compete in the finals of the trials. He said he just started his season and won’t be good to over stretch himself. I told him I can’t guarantee him a place on the list he needs to go and run. He went there and didn’t compete.”
“Professionally what he should have done was to go there and start the race then if he couldn’t run we know something went wrong for him but he didn’t and no wild card for anyone .We are trying to do the right thing in Nigeria and we will sure do the right thing.” Adeleye stated
On the athletes that didn’t make it to the trials in Nigeria, Adeleye disclosed the criteria used to select them.
“The AFN informed the foreign athletes to keep up to speed with their performance wherever they are because we can’t bring everyone to Nigeria for the trials. Asking them to buy their tickets hoping we do a refund and by the time they get here we say there is no money. So we told those who don’t have competitions elsewhere to come to Nigeria for the trials.”