By Ben Efe
Director-General, National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye has tasked the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and other Olympics sporting federations to brace up for the 2015 All African Games, billed for Brazzaville, Congo September 4 -19.
Elegbeleye stated that Nigerian athletes should work hard at achieving good results as the country is aiming to clinch the top spot. Nigeria have played second fiddle to South Africa and Egypt on the medals table, but according to the NSC boss, it was time the country made its population and prowess count at the Games which will be marking its 50th anniversary.
“We must not go to the Games just to participate, but to win most of the medals,” Elegbeleye told officials of the respective sporting federations in Abuja.
Athletics is one sport that has always mined gold for Nigeria at the Games. But from all indications, the AFN seems to be in a fix of how to prepare its athletes for the Games, against the background of paucity of funds to pursue its programmes.
“It is going to be tough this year. We bent over backwards to get our athletes prepare for the Commonwealth Games, despite not receiving much from the NSC in 2014.
“Our president and other members who have been contributing are overstretched. By this time last year we were already camping our athletes, but right now I cannot say much even as we have two major events this year. The All African Games and the World Championships in Beijing China,” a member of the federation volunteered during a telephone conversation.