Why we are holding national trials, by AFN
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)