Former vice president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Elias Gora has urged the federation not to sleep on preparations for the All Africa Games coming up in September in Maputo, Mozambique.
Gora stated that the country was banking on athletics to produce medals for Nigeria, after sports like wrestling and special sports was yanked off the list of events by the organizers.
Athletics observers have raised concerns about the lack of intent showed so far by the AFN with regards to a course of action towards the Games. Nigeria topped the Athletics medals table at the last Games in Algiers 2007.
This was achieved mostly with Nigerian athletes based in the USA. So far no contact has been made with the athletes and other home-based who have potentials to win medals at the Games.
“Honestly the AFN as the sport’s governing body should start working and not wait for the National Sports Commission.
“They have athletes with record performances and they should get a list and start preparations with those athletes.
“Athletics is one sport that we are hoping on to give us medals at the All Africa Games and there is a need for our athletes to be adequately prepared. The AFN should not wait for the NSC.
“I know that the NSC has approved funds, but until the money comes work should be going on,” said Gora who was the Chef Mission of the Nigerian team to the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
At that event boycotted by top Commonwealth athletes, Nigeria presented a rag-tag athletics team and managed two gold medals won by Ajoke Odumosu and triple jumper Tosin Oke. The relay teams suffered lack of man power, while the coaching crew battled with confidence crisis.
“I expect that the technical committee should be on top of the situation. They should come up with a concise programme,” added Gora who is also a director at the NSC.