By Dare Esan:
Reigning African triple jump champion Tosin Oke ended his 2016 athletics season with another disappointing showing at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday night, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Oke jumped a third round distance of 16.29m to finish last in a 10-man cast that saw reigning World and Olympic champion, USA’s Christian Taylor, set a new 17.80m Wetklasse Meeting record to win the event and the Diamond Race with 60 points, 28 more than Cuba’s Alexis Copello while Oke, following his series of inspiring performances, placed ninth in the standing with four points.
The Nigerian whose 17.13m jump at the 20th African Championships in Athletics in Durban,South Africa last June had given hope of a place in the final of the event at the Rio Olympics last month to make it a consecutive appearance in the final of a global event after placing eighth at the IAAF World championships last year in Beijing, China, has failed to hit the 17m mark again.
Oke’s performance in Zurich is a reflection of the state of track and field in Nigeria and notable watchers of the sport have called on the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to resign.
Leading this chorus is former Sports Minister Bolaji Abdulahi who has called for a change in the leadership of the federation.
“I think the only way to move the sport of track and field forward is for Solomon Ogba to either resign or be forced out of the place,” said Abdulahi who incidentally pulled out all the stops to ensure Ogba emerged winner of the presidential election in 2013.