18th July, 2011
Nigeria Karate coach, Dave Jegede, is confident that his karatekas can clinch all the gold medals meant for Karate event in the forthcoming All Africa Games slated for September in Maputo, Mozambique.
Jegede told P.M. Sports that he is satisfied with the seriousness and commitment of the athletes in camp. He said what he saw in the camp showed that the athletes are ready to take their opponents to the cleaners when the All Africa Games begin in September.
â€œWe have a good preparation and the athletes are responding well to training at the Abuja National Stadium. I am very optimistic that we will not only win medals but ensure that we win all gold medals in the Karate event,â€ He said.
Jegede confirmed to P.M. Sports that 44 athletes are already in camp, saying that only 22 athletes will make it to Maputo. Among the national athletes that are in camp are Ehis Akhimiel (Male) and Alis Henry (female)
Commenting on the challenges facing the athletes, Jegede noted that there are many athletes that need to be exposed if they want to excel in Maputo. He said if the athletes can take part in at least two international meets, they stand the chance to clinch gold medals in the All Africa Games.
â€œHonestly, the athletes have the potential to go far in the tournament but they still need at least two major competitions that that will help them in Maputo,â€ he said.
Secretary of the Karate Federation of Nigeria, KFN, Clement Iyaluegbeghe, disclosed that the federation has provided enough to bring the best out of the athletes. He said there is no way they will take all the athletes to Maputo, saying that the best athletes will make the final list at the end of the day.
â€œIt is unfortunate that we cannot take all the athletes to All Africa Games. All I know is that the coaching crew led by Jegede Dave will do a good job by picking the best athletes that will represent this country at the event,â€ he said.
Iyaluegbeghe admonished the athletes to give their best, promising that the federation will do everything to make sure that they have a good outing at the All Africa Games.