CALABAR 2011: OSAYOMI DEDICATES 200M GOLD TO NIGERIANS
Reigning All Africa Games 100m champion, Oludamola Osayomi, has dedicated the 200m gold she won at the 65th All Nigeria/Cross River State Athletics Championships to Nigerians for standing by her in her moment of travail.
Osayomi was adjudged to have used a performance-enhancing drug during last year's Commonwealth Games in India and the 100m gold she won was subsequently withdrawn from her but millions of Nigerians rallied round the athlete, arguing that she was only a victim of a stimulant that was added to the list of banned substances a few months to the Games.
She said, 'I was really overwhelmed by the support Nigerians gave to me during and after last year's Commonwealth Games. They believed that I could not have knowingly took a banned susbstance and I will forever be grateful to them.
'I can't remember any Nigerian athlete that has received the kind of support that I got and it has been my driving force this year. I am dedicating this gold to them and I promise to always be the good girl they have known me to be.
''The gold was also a perfect birthday gift and I am delighted that I am back running again.''
She apologised to the thousands of spectators at the U.J Esuene Stadium for missing the medal presentation ceremony.
'I am really sorry for missing the ceremony. I didn't know the presentation would take place almost immediately after the race. I have apologised in person to the President of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria Solomon Ogba, the technical officials and the good people of Cross River State who came out to watch the best of Nigerian athletics. I am now using this medium to apologise to those who were not at the stadium and those who watched on television.'