Following the launch on Friday by World Athletics of its ‘Road to Budapest 2023’ tracking tool, five Nigerian women have been officially confirmed to be among the athletes that will compete at the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships next year August in Budapest, Hungary.
The five are sprinters Favour Ofili, Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma; sprint hurdler Tobi Amusan and long jumper Ese Brume.
Two of the five relay teams have also secured qualification to the championships, the flagship event of World Athletics. The two relay teams are the women’s 4x100m and the Mixed 4x400m.
The five individual athletes secured their qualification at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last August while Amusan automatically qualifies as the reigning World 100m hurdles champion albeit she could have made the cut either through the entry standard or the wild card her Diamond League victory conferred on her.
The Commonwealth Games period fell within the qualifcation window for the Championships.
The two relay teams are able to secure qualification following the cancellation of the 2023 World Relays in China due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The eight finalists in each relay event at the World Relays would have qualified automatically for the Budapest 2023 World Championships.
Following the cancellation, World Athletics opted to offer the eight finalists in each of the five relay events at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, USA automatic qualification to Budapest 2023.
There are three other Nigerian athletes who have also provisionally qualified as area champions and they are Oyesade Olatoye (Hammer Throw), Chioma Onyekwere (Discus) and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (Shot Put).
The trio won the Hammer Throw, Discus Throw and the Shot Put respectively at the 22nd African Athletics Championships in Mauritius last June.
Meanwhile, the ‘Road to Budapest 23’ online tracking tool is designed to help athletes, fans and media track the qualification process for the global showpiece.
Searchable by event, country and qualification status, the tool provides a real-time view of each event over the course of the qualification period, which ends on 30 July 2023 (30 May 2023 for the marathon and 35km race walk).
Athletes can qualify in one of four ways: by achieving an entry standard, by virtue of their placing at area championships or Platinum/Gold Label marathons (considered as having achieved the entry standard), by wild card entry or by world rankings position.