National long jump coach, Yusuf Ali has blamed Nigeria’s poor outing at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which ended yesterday on frequent changes in the leadership of sports in the country.
Ali, a 1990 Commonwealth Games long jump gold medalist said in London that such changes had also led to changes in policies for sports development.
“Changes in the leadership of sports as far as I am concerned, affects sports development because it affects everything that concerns sports,” he said.
Ali said the current Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, had a vision that could take sports to a high level, if allowed to do his job.
“The minister has a direction to take sports to a greater height. I say this with all sincerity, he has the vision but he should be supported and left alone to do his job,” Ali said. The sports minister was appointed only two months to the Olympic Games.
Ali said that though Nigerian sprinters at the Games may not have won any medal, they did well.
“To me, the athletes did their best, especially the girls. Ajoke Odumosu broke the national record, Okagbare and others did their best,” said the Algeria 1988 African Championships gold medallist.
“World sprinters and athletes have stepped up their performances. Before, 10 seconds was the world record, but now it is 9 seconds.
“So, Nigerian sprinters should also step up their performances because the world is moving very fast. The performance at this year’s Olympics will be a wake-up call for Nigeria to begin to prepare early for the next Games,” he said.