By Ben Efe
In releasing the list of 37 athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN placed emphasis on home-based athletes.
AFN technical director, Sunday Adeleye said yesterday that the federation is trying to depart from the norm of inviting foreign-based athletes, when there are home-based athletes who have the potentials of doing better performances if given the desired training.
Only six foreign-based athletes including Tobi Amusan, Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Stephen Mozia, Kelechi Nwanaga and Dorren Amata made the cut.
“We are not targeting to win 10 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. Rather we are targeting to have a strong pool of local athletes.
“Besides we have studied the situation and we discovered that there wasn’t any wide gap between the performances of the local and foreign-based athletes.”
He said 100m hurdler Amusan will now be coming for the Games, having signed a contract with addidas indicating that she has turned a professional athlete.
“It is only Divine Oduduru and Emerald Egwim we can’t get. They are in school but we will make do with what we have.”
Speaking on the surprised dumping of sprinter Seye Ogunlewe, Mr. Adeleye stated that the London-based athlete could be facing disciplinary action for his conduct at the last trials in Abuja.
“Ogunlewe walked out on us after running the rounds. He came to me to say he was too tired to go to the final. Despite our promptings for him to just manage even if he had to scratch out, but he decided to walk away disrespectfully and that itself is a disciplinary issue,” Adeleye stressed.