From Kanay Jubal
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and World 800m champion, Caster Semenya of South Africa, alongside 14 others were inducted into the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Hall of Fame with on Tuesday night.
Africa’s fastest man 9.85 secs Olusoji Fasuba and Tosin Oke, who set the current U.K. junior indoor record were also honored.
Also, Nigeria’s quartet team of the 4x200m IAAF World relays champion in 2015 Udoh, Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Okagabre-Ighoteguonor, were inducted.
Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, a 5,000m outdoor record holder, well as compatriot Mesert Defar, a three-time record holder in 5000m event and Genzebe Dibaba, world record holder in the 2000m indoor event were among the honourees.
The current world and Olympic record holder in both the 5,000m and 10,000m events Kenenisa Bekele, and Almaz Ayana, who broke the women’s 10,000m world record at the Rio Olympic Games, both of Ethiopia, received recognition.
Two-time world champion in the 800m race, Kenya’s David Rudisha and winner of the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2004 Summer Olympics Ezekiel Kemboi also of Kenya made the induction.
Kenya’s Vivan Cheruyoit, a gold medallist in the 5000m in the Rio Olympics event with South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, the current world and Olympic record holder in the 400m were also among those inducted.
Representing the athletes, Okagabare-Ighoteguonor thanked CAA for recognizing their efforts.
“On behalf of the athletes, we want to say thank you for recognizing us. Getting this recognition is a great achievement to for us who have served the continent.
“It is not only about winning medals but achievement like this can boost the confidence of athletes. Thank you again,’’ she said.
Meanwhile Okagabare-Ighoteguonor and Fasuba were the athletes present at the induction ceremony in Asaba.
The Stephen Keshi Stadium is hosting the African Senior Athletics Championship from Wednesday to Sunday.