As part of preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All Comers competition slated for Akure, Ondo State this weekend has received a big boost as the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare is set to attend the event.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will also storm the event as part of a renewed commitment to a good showing at the Olympics.
The competition which the AFN will be using to assess the readiness of the athletes for the new season will hold at the Federal University of Technology Sports Centre in Akure.
President of AFN, Honourable Olamide George, said that the technical arm of the AFN headed by Brown Ebewele will begin monitoring of home-based athletes with the competition.
‘The AFN has mapped out plans to ensure Nigeria does not extend the medal drought at the Olympics to 12 years. The last time a track and field athlete mounted the podium at the Games was in 2008 in Beijing and we are determined to end that in Tokyo. The Akure All Comers competition is one of the events we have scheduled to monitor the performances of the home-based athletes.
“We intend to keep a database of the athletes as we intensify preparations for the African Championships and the Olympics. The competition will also serve as self valuation for the athletes to know how successful their training regime is and know what the next phase will be said the AFN president who revealed his federation has received 100 per cent support from its supervisory body, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“We have been lucky to have as Sports Minister a man who understands not just our sport but also the fact that athletes are the fulcrum of our sport.’ George says the AFN will select home-based athletes who participate in events sanctioned by it.
“All performances must be achieved in events sanctioned by the AFN. We will have the only two statisticians recognized by their international body, the International Association of Track and Field Statisticians in Akure with key officiating officials who are recognised internationally. The competition will be held under AFN and World Athletics rules,’ he said.
Meanwhile the AFN says accommodation will be provided for athletes based on their ranking from last year.
‘This is the first competition for the year and we will use their rankings based on their performances last year to give them accommodation. The list of those to be accommodated will be out later this week,’ explained George.