By KATE OBODO
Athletics coach Tobias Igwe a.k.a Toblow has said the National Sports Commission, NSC should not be blamed if Nigeria fails to do well in the 2012 London Olympics in July.
The grass-roots coach was lamenting over the non-release of fund by the government barely seven months to the kick-off of the competition, stressing that the late release of funds will amount to failure and disaster not only for the athletes but the entire country.
“Our people are too slow when it comes to preparation for any major competition. These athletes need good training ahead this event. If we do not camp the athletes for long starting from this month to June, we are only preparing to fail. This is a world event not an African event where we always have fire bridge approach in our preparation.
For now, they are training under their individual coaches which does not augur well. Most of these coaches are not capable for competitions like the Olympics. What the athletes need are capable hands to coach them for the Olympics. It’s about seven months to the Olympics and money has not been released yet.
This is very bad. When money is released, it goes first to the NSC before it gets to the AFN. Now that the money has not been released by the presidency, what do Nigerians expect the NSC to do? The body is not to be blamed in a situation like this.
We have about two athletes who could do well in the Olympics, Blessing Okagbare and Oludamola Osayomi. Other areas is bleak but with good training, things could change. After the All Africa Games, preparations should have commenced.
In the past our preparations have always been nine months. For instance, Barcelona ’92 Olympics, Atlanta ’96 and Sydney 2000 to mention but a few. We do not need to tell anybody that long term approach is the best. We have tried long term approach and it yielded results, short term approach will not give us result. For me it is dangerous, how do we get good results when we don’t spend money on our athletes,” he asked.