Nigeria Athletes Will Be Back On Track Again, Says Nesiama | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Athletics, SPORT

Nigeria Athletes Will Be Back On Track Again, Says Nesiama

Posted: Sep 17, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo


With adequate funding, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) technical director Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama has said that track and field in the country will blossom again.

Nigeria 4x100m womens team

Nigeria 4x100m womens team

Athletics in Nigeria has assumed a back seat on the continent in recent times. It’s poor showing at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing and at the All Africa Games in Congo where the country failed to dominate are a testimony to its failing status.

To this end, Nesiama said, lack of funds has been the bane of growing the sport to a level that would engender major development.

“The talents are here, among the junior athletes, Nigeria has great talents, but the problem has always been funding. Most times, athletes are not in camp, not in competitions and not getting the conditioning they require due to lack of funds. Its not like that with others countries that compete with us at major athletics events.”

In the past Nigeria hardly concede the sprint, 4x100m, 4x400m events to other countries, but today, it’s happening because investments in that area had dropped. Until the country begins to fund the sport adequately, the toga of catching up would continue. 

He noted that the over dependence on a particular athlete for medals at major Games has never helped Nigeria and insisted that with the junior athletes now coming up, Nigeria would rediscover and occupy lost grounds.

“The federation is not idle doing nothing, a whole lot of works are on-going to mitigate the slide, with the high performance centre in Port Harcourt, Nigeria will be back again as giant of Africa.

On Team Nigeria athletes performance at the All Africa Games, he said it was gladdening that the country has not lost grounds in most events, but regretted that its heart rendering watching countries like Botswana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and others dominate events Nigeria used to excel in.

He however expressed hope that at the junior level, Nigeria still dominates Africa in track and field, adding, that’s the way forward.