Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru is out of Friday’s 2019 Athletissima IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stade de la Pontaise in Lausanne, Switzerland, Completesports.com reports.
Also out is reigning African 200m record holder, Blessing Okagbare.
Both were originally on the provisional list of athletes confirmed for the meeting released on Monday by organisers of the event.
Oduduru was listed for the 200m event alongside the impressive trio of reigning world champion in the event, Ramil Guliyev of Turkey, USA’s Noah Lyles who is second fastest man over the distance so far this year and Canada’s Andre De Grasse, while Okagbare was listed for the women’s blue ribband race where she leads the IAAF Diamond League standing with 15 points.
The duo reportedly withdrew from the event and their names are conspicuously missing in the revised list released on Wednesday. This means the Nigerians’ dream of making history have been shattered.
While Oduduru is itching to become the fifth Nigerian after Okagbare, Tosin Oke (Triple Jump),Tobi Amusan (100m hurdles),Enekwechi Chukwuebuka (Shot Put) and Gloria Asumnu (100m) to participate in the Diamond League since its debut in 2010,Okagbare is seeking a first ever consecutive hat-trick of wins in the money-spinning
competition following her inspiring victories at the Mohammed VI international athletics meeting in Rabat,Morocco and the
Prefontaine Classics in Stanford,California,bUSA last month.
Oduduru is now expected to make his debut in the money-spinning competition on July 12 at the Stade Louis II when it makes
its ninth stop at the Herculis EBS in Monaco. The reigning NCAA double sprint champion will face former world champion, Justin Gatlin of the USA who ran 9.78 in 2015 to set the meeting record and rising US star, Noah Lyles over the 100m.
By Dare Esan