Team Nigeria’s sole representative in the men’s High Jump at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Mike Edwards, is appealing to the IAAF to rescind its earlier decision stopping him from competing at the Games which kick off next week.

The 27-year old high jumper has become the latest victim of the IAAF’s indefinite freeze on the transfer of allegiance process, which was put in place on February 6 last year, largely for the purpose of protecting vulnerable African athletes from being poached by other nations.

However, Edwards was named on the Nigerian team to the Commonwealth Games in February, and revealed that he had been cleared by British Athletics to compete for Nigeria. The jumper is already in Australia for the Games and had been accredited by the Commonwealth Games Federation, only to receive a call from the IAAF telling him he was ineligible to compete at the Games because he represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships nine years ago.

Edwards, who has a Jamaican father and Nigerian mother, has now picked a spot at the Games Village where he’s going to stand every single day in order to bring some awareness to his plight, while hoping that the international governing body changes its earlier stance before the competition begins.

He took to his Facebook page to share this: “No shame. I’ll stand here every day until IAAF makes a change. It’s wrong what they’re doing. I’ve come too far. I’ve sacrificed way too much to fold at the Commonwealth Games. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

“As a law abiding dual citizen of Great Britain and Nigeria, I should have every right to represent #TeamNigeria regardless if I chose to represent my birth country GB almost a decade ago, at a Jr. level Championship.

“I may not be the most decorated athlete in the world but I’m resilient. Remember, it’s been nine years since my last major Championship. I don’t quit easy… This sign is a representation of the levels I’m willing to take it too. I just want to compete. Call me back IAAF”.

Incidentally, Nigeria’s first ever Commonwealth Games medal, a Silver, was gotten from the men’s High Jump at the 1950 edition of the Games. Also, the country’s first ever GOLD medal at the Commonwealth Games was won by Emmanuel Ifeajuna in the men’s High Jump in 1954.

Edwards, who won the British Indoor Championships in February this year, would have been Nigeria’s first male High Jumper at the Games in about 50 years.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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