Two Nigerian Athletes Apply For World Athletics $500, 000 Fund
Ahead of the 2021 Olympic Games, two Nigeria athletes Usheoritse Itsekiri and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi have applied for the World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation’s $500,000 welfare fund.
Both bodies put the fund in place to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on athletes who have met the entry standard and qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Factional President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Gusau, in a statement on May 6, called on Nigerian athletes to take advantage and apply for the fund.
The WA said athletes would be entitled to a maximum of $4,000 support per athlete.
Speaking with Punch, General Director of the Gusau-led board Siminialayi Pepple said Itsekiri and Enekwechi applied for the funds.
“What we did was to send the link to them and they applied directly as athletes, you don’t go through your federation.
“They are the two athletes we can confirm have applied,” Pepple said
Itsekiri has qualified for the men’s 100m event at the Olympics, which was shifted to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Enekwechi is already through to the men’s shot-put event.
Other Nigerian track and field athletes who have qualified for the Olympic Games are Emmanuel Bamidele (men’s 400m), Raymond Ekevwo (men’s 100m), Divine Oduduru (men’s 100m, 200m), Tobi Amusan (women’s 100m hurdles), Blessing Okagbare (women’s 100m, 200m) and Ese Brume (women’s long jump).
Okagbare, Amusan and Brume are however not eligible to apply for the funds, due to the condition by the WA, ruling out athletes who are in the top six in their events in the World Athletics World Rankings.
While Okagbare is ranked sixth in the world in the 200m, Brume is ranked third in the world in the long jump and Amusan fourth in the world in 100m hurdles.