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AFN foot-drags on Doha participation

With only one week to go for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, Athletics Federation of Nigeria is yet to come up with a plan for the meet that will run from March 12-14 in Doha, Qatar.

AFN technical and performance director, Sunday Bada who was champion over 400m in Paris in 1997, said during the week that the make up of the Nigeria team is still sketchy even as he was only sure of athletes like Peter Emelizie, Ogho-Oghene Egworo and defending 60m champion Olusoji Fasuba.

Besides, it was gathered that there is no cash backing from the National Sports Commission and the Federation does not want to make the mistake of Berlin 2009 where there was no funds, yet it took a 30 man team to the World Championships and there was chaos.

The athletes who will likely make the team are already training and competing in Europe and will head straight to Doha on Wednesday. The IAAF has a quota for each participating country.

Meanwhile officials of the IAAF said that they expect the Doha WIC to become the biggest gathering in terms of participating nations in the history of these championships, exceeding the previous record set two years ago in Valencia.

With 150 countries having entered athletes to compete at the Aspire Dome next week, the Doha 2010 World Indoors should surpass Valencia 2008 where 147 countries, also a participating record at the time, contested the event.
A total of 1,134 athletes and officials are also expected to attend what will be the IAAF’s most important event of the 2010 World Athletics Series. 374 male athletes, 283 female athletes and 477 officials have indeed been entered following the March 1, 2010 deadline for Final Entries.

For the fourth time, the IAAF World Indoor Championships will step outside Europe following the North American editions of Indianapolis ’87 and Toronto ’93 and the Asian  stopover in Maebashi ’99 and for the first time ever this competition will be held on Middle East soil.

On the individual front, the Russian pair of Yelena Isinabyeva in the Pole Vault and Tatyana Kotova in the Long Jump will be the most decorated athletes in the field with three World Indoor gold medals each and both having legitimate chances of winning a fourth title. The same holds true for Meseret Defar on the track who will go for her fourth 3000m gold. In the men’s events, World Decathlon record holder Roman Sebrle (CZE) and sprint hurdler Terrence Trammell (USA) both already have two World Indoor titles under their belts.


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