The Technical Director of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Yusuf Ali, has said Nigerians should not expect any medals from Team Nigeria athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, because medals are won by serious nations who prepare their athletes well.
The African record holder in the long jump event revealed to Extra Time that with one year to 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Nigerian athletes are yet to start preparation of any form for the global event. He made a true confession that Nigerian athletics have gone into limbo because those in charge of sports have refused to do the right thing ahead of the Olympics.
“Athletics is dead, we are just living in the periphery. In the past Nigerian athletes ranked among the best in the world. The reason was very simple; those in charge of sports in the country then took the youths seriously in terms of preparation. Training was their watch word. Today the National Sports Commission is only interested in competitions, not preparations,” he said.
Yusuf stressed that the only antidote to success is training and retraining of athletes, coaches and serious preparations for major competitions.
“Nigerian athletes are now down the ladder due to the lackadaisical attitude of the administrators in the NSC.
“Gold medals are won by those who deserved them. We are not ready for the Olympics. The All Africa Games is less than 90 days away, but we are not in camp and cannot confidently tell Nigerians who will represent this country at the Games,” he added.
Ali whose 26 years old long jump African record set in 1989 is yet to be broken advised the NSC to start work immediately on the preparation for the All Africa Games billed for September in Congo Brazzaville.