Why we are hold­ing na­tional tri­als, by AFN

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

The Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion of Nige­ria (AFN) yes­ter­day said the coun­try’s poor per­for­mance at the re­cent Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Ath­let­ics (CAA) Cham­pi­onships in South Africa ne­ces­si­tated the na­tional tri­als.

AFN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Bamiduro Olu­mide said in Abuja that the tri­als would help as­sess the cur­rent per­for­mance of ath­letes be­fore the Rio Olympics.

The na­tional tri­als will hold at the All-Nige­ria Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships sched­uled for Thurs­day and Fri­day in Sapele, Delta.

“We don’t want to judge the ath­letes based on their pre­vi­ous in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances in pick­ing the Olympics team, be­cause of what hap­pened at Dur­ban in South Africa last month.

“This in­formed the de­ci­sion to hold the tri­als,” he said.

Team Nige­ria won 15 medals in Dur­ban, made up four gold, five sil­ver and six bronze, to place a dis­ap­point­ing third.

The per­for­mance clearly sent warning sig­nals about the state of the Nige­rian team ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games sched­uled for Aug. 5 to Aug. 21 in Rio, Brazil.

“We want to see ath­letes’ cur­rent per­for­mances and make our se­lec­tion, be­cause we don’t want any dis­ap­point­ment,” he said.

Olu­mide how­ever said the tri­als was open to all ath­letes who have met the Olympic stan­dard in their re­spec­tive events.

He said par­tic­i­pat­ing ath­letes and other of­fi­cials were ex­pected to start to arrive from Tues­day for the tri­als.

The AFN of­fi­cial nonethe­less could not give the num­ber of ath­letes ex­pected, but dis­closed that for­eign­based ath­letes were also be­ing ex­pected. (NAN)

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