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How I Was Disqualified From Olympics On My 25th Birthday - Athlete Who Dumped USA For Nigeria

Posted by Samuel on Sat 31st Jul, 2021 - tori.ng

Having citizenship in both the United States and Nigeria, Echikunwoke had said she chose to represent for Nigeria to get connected with her parents’ country.

Annette Echikunwoke

Annette Echikunwoke

Annette Echikunwoke, one of the Nigerian athletes who was disqualified from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has lamented that the news of her disqualification got to her officially on her 25 the birthday, The PUNCH reports.

Having citizenship in both the United States and Nigeria, Echikunwoke had said she chose to represent for Nigeria to get connected with her parents’ country.

Echikunwoke lamented that she was heartbroken and devastated when the news got to her.

Her throw of 72.07m made her the first woman to throw past 70m in the Hammer throw on Nigerian soil and broke the Nigerian and African Record when she threw a huge 75.49m in the women’s Hammer Throw at the USATF Throws Festival in Arizona to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The PUNCH had reported that Jumper Ruth Usoro, sprinter Favour Ofili and eight other Nigerian athletes were on Wednesday disqualified from the track and field events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Aside Usoro and Ofili, others affected were Chioma Onyekwere (discus), Annette Echikunwoke (hammer), Chidi Okezie (4X400m mixed relays), Knowledge Omovoh (4x100m women), Rosemary Chukwuma (100m), Glory Patrick (4X400m mixed relays), Yinka Ajayi (4X400m mixed relays) and Tima Godless (4X100m relays).

25-year-old Echikunwoke – an African record holder in the women’s hammer event – expressed her disappointment in a post on Facebook.

She posted, “On my 25th birthday, I was officially informed that I cannot compete at the Tokyo 2020ne Olympics due to the negligence of the federation I was set to compete for.

“I can’t even begin to explain how heartbroken I am. It honestly feels like a fever dream. To think of all the hours of throwing sessions, hundreds of hard lifts, all the moments when my body aches in pain and reminding myself ‘it’ll be worth it’, just to keep pushing on, sacrificing time with loved ones… and all I’m left with is this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. This has been the most mentally and emotionally exhausting time of my life.

“To be clear: The African Federation of Nigeria did not go through the processes to set up proper testing for us athletes. They left us in the dark about this whole drug testing issue until the last minute where we were left helpless. We cannot let anything like this happen again to athletes, devastating dreams and crushing opportunities.

“In all of this, I’m still trusting Him who brought me to this point in the first place. I don’t understand divinely why this happened, but I do know all things work for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I know God has called me to do what I’m doing, not just for me, but for the glory of His Kingdom.

“To my teammates and friends competing, I’m rooting for you heavy, I love you, thank you for your support.”



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