From Morakinyo Abodunrin
Former quartermiller and Olympian Fatimat Yusuf-Olukoju has condemned the election of wrestler Odunayo Adekuoroye as Nigeria’s standard bearer for the opening ceremony of the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday.
Fatimat, the first African woman to run 400 meters in 49.43 seconds under 50 seconds at the 1995 African Cup of Nations, said Okagbare had the best credentials among athletes in Tokyo, both the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) said The Nigerian Athletics Federation (AFN) should have pushed for the election of Okagbare based on their previous achievements in the colors of the country.
Is Blessing not enough or worthy to be the Nigerian flag bearer at the Tokyo Olympics after all that she has achieved for Nigeria in athletics? ”Asked Fatimat, who at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics together with Bisi Afolabi, Charity Opara and Falilat Ogunkoya won the silver medal over 4 x 400 meters. “We all need to start asking questions to our leaders and to those who made this decision.”
Don’t you know all of your (Okaybare) successes in athletics over the years? I wonder what criteria were used to ignore her for the role of the country’s flag bearer. “
The US-based former African record holder believed that the decision not to consider Blessing was an indication that government officials and sports administrators are not confident in some of their decisions.
“I want to make it clear that I’m not being sentimental, just saying the obvious,” she affirmed. “Blessing should have got the honor at the dawn of her career, as this appears to be her last Olympics.
“Assigning her the role of the flag bearer would have put a smile on her face, a kind of ‘thank you and goodbye’ to say.
“If you don’t give her this special role, it is not the best way to treat your heroes, surely Blessings deserve better treatment,” noted Fatimat.