AFN election: They loved me but sports politics made me lose, says Mary Onyali

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Mary Onyali Omagbemi saw her dreams of becoming the vice president of the Athletics Federations of Nigeria (AFN) dashed after losing to Olamide George on Tuesday.

Subsequently, the one-time African fastest woman told TheCable that sports politics led to her defeat despite being loved by the voters.

“They wanted to vote for me but somewhere along the line, there is something called sports politics which came to play in their personal ways,” Onyali told TheCable.

“They loved me.”

Ibrahim Gusau won the presidency of the AFN and Onyali, who was an Olympics bronze medalist revealed that it was her desire to work with the new AFN board.

“The new president I know very well and that was my reason for vying for the position of the vice president,” she said.

“I knew all along that he will win. He has been there before. This is the third time he had a go at it. The second time, he became a board member.

“I know what he could do. I knew what he contributed when he was the vice president and a board member, so running with him on this platform and losing, I didn’t lose anything.”

The Commonwealth gold medalist said she gained so much from the loss as she is now experienced in running for elective position.

“Actually, I gained the experience, running for an elective position and knowing how it really feels to be loved. I didn’t feel bad about it. Yes, I would have love to win but that will not take me away from athletics.

“Athletics is in my blood. I will always be relevant to the board and everyone inclusive,” Onyali added.

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