28th December, 2012
Nigeria fared woefully in athletics fared in 2012 and as year 2013 knocks at the door, the stakeholders say there is need for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, to put its house in order.
Some of the stakeholders believe that if the AFN can learn from its poor showing in the outgoing that year, the year 2013 can be better for the sport.
The stakeholders, while speaking on their expectations in the new year, advised AFN and concerned authorities to make early preparations paramount if the country’s athletes want to do well in international competitions.
They opined that since Nigerian athletes have not been doing well in international competitions, there is need for a new approach to things in year 2013.
First to air his views on his expectations in 2013 is Anambra State-based 100m female athlete, Nkem Okoroafor. She stated that the fire brigade approach that the AFN had always adopted would not help, except the body starts planning in good time.
Okoroafor attributed Team Nigeria’s failure at the last Summer Olympics held in London, where they failed to win a single medal, to poor planning, while urging the AFN to plan early for the events coming up in 2013.
Another athlete, who craved anonymity for fear of being intimidated, advised Nigerian coaches to be abreast of latest coaching techniques, saying “Nigerian coaches need to go back to the classrooms if we do not want what happened in 2012 to recur. “They have the calendar, so what is expected of them is to start planning in good time. There is no reason going cap in hands to beg for fund at the last hour”, the athlete said.
It was however a different tale for Noah Akwu, who represented Nigeria in the 200m male event at London 2012 Olympic Games. He noted that the AFN did try during the outgoing year, but believes the body can do better in 2013.
On his expectations in 2013, the United States of America, US-based athlete said he is looking forward to 2013 with high hopes.
Veteran athletics coach, Tobias Igwe on his part believes that 2013 can only get better, while urging the AFN to keep the athletes busy throughout the year.
Igwe is of the view that if athletes are kept busy, there won’t be need for the nation to look outside the country to source for athletes who can help the country win medals in international competitions.
“We would continue to have the same results if we continue to do the same thing. We can’t always be doing things good without planning, we must plan for events in good time if Nigeria want to win medals”.