Nigeria will not be competing at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, after the Athletics Federation of Nigeria failed to secure visas for the three athletes scheduled to represent the country at the event.
The competition of World Juniors commences today with an attendance of over 1,462 athletes from 158 countries competing in 44 events.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria named Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Joy Udo-Gabriel, Enoch Adegoke and long jumper Benjamin Arinze as the country’s representatives at the biennial event.
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The athletes need Schengen visas to travel to Finland but as of Friday, the AFN has yet to secure the visas. It means the athletes will not travel for the competition’, she added.
The three athletes had been scheduled to travel to Finland on Friday but Udo-Gabriel was seen competing in the women’s 100m heats at the National Championships in Abuja on Saturday. Adegoke also competed in the men’s 100m heats at the competition.
However, athletes staged a protest demanding the removal of AFN Technical Director Sunday Adeleye, who is also their representative on the board.
The Secretary General of the federation Amaechi Akawo refused to give any comment on the issue, promising to get back, but failed to do by the time of this publication.
Ahead of the competition, Adegoke is ranked the fifth fastest junior athlete following the 10.19secs he ran at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April. Udo-Gabriel is also ranked seventh in the top 10 of the fastest junior women after she ran 11.42secs at the Commonwealth Games in April.