By Ime Bassey
Bayelsa State House Committee Chairman on sports, Dr Daniel Igali has said that the country’s continuous inability to plan properly before competitions will always cost her medals at the Olympics.
Making this known to Saturday Vanguard Sports, Dr Igali who is also the Technical Director of the Weightlifting Federation of Nigeria, WFN urged the National Sports Commission, NSC to always start its preparation for major competitions at the end of the last one so there will be enough time for the athletes.
“There are reasons why Nigerian athletes don’t win gold medals at the Olympics in combatant sports. One of the reasons is because it takes a lot more than mere talent which we in Nigeria believe it’s enough. It takes a lot of factors, chief of which is proper planning but here we exhibit lip service in our preparations forgetting that those we are going to compete with have been preparing for years.
“It takes seriousness in planning and competition to make it to the top of the podium at the Olympics. I think we have a few athletes who, when given the proper opportunity and right planning with tactics, can win medals at the Olympics. More so, the right administration and motivation must also be in place for athletes to deliver.
“There is no time to waste because more competitions are around the corner and the more these athletes compete in major competitions after following the aforementioned process, then we will celebrate. I am happy that Governor (Timipre) Sylva have promised that every wrestler that qualifies for the Olympics would be given the opportunity to train anywhere in the world. I believe that this will go a long way towards exposing our athletes to challenging for medals at the London 2012 Olympics,” Igali said.