The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) said its board is committed to ensure that Nigerian athletics are set for greater heights at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye, made the assertion in an interview with journalists at the weekend.
Adeleye said that Ibrahim Gusau, the federation’s President, had tasked the board to work hard toward ensuring victory in every competition.
The nation’s athletes are expected to compete with their counterparts at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“The president has charged all board and committee members to step up their games in order to drive athletics to a greater height, beginning with 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.”
“Commonwealth Games are another testing ground for us to show what we have done so far, the president will say, `the train is already moving, get in and start doing your part’.”
“Performances of athletes depend on the competition. The more you compete, the better you become,” Adeleye said.
He disclosed that this year’s national competitions would be a two-day event. Instead of running one round, athletes can run three rounds. That is the heat, semi-finals and finals.
“When you get to international competitions, you’re not just running one round; we are going into championships to run three rounds; we should start practicing that from home.”
“Also, the Nigerian athletics season used to start in April/May but the president says the technical committee should go back and work out how we can start our season earlier.”
“Now, we are starting our season in November which will give us more room to prepare ahead of Australia and South Africa that will start their season in January.”
“We will start the season in November and by December we will start our own competition. By the time we will be running two competitions they will be running one, we believe in `Early to bed, early to rise,” he said.
Adeleye said that the federation would harness young grassroots talents through inter-house sports, so that age falsification could also be eliminated.
“We are going back to schools inter-house sports. From the schools we will discover very good talents in their real age.”
“We have officiating officials attending the inter-house sports; they will help us to curb age falsification among other irregularities. We can easily discover young talents in their right age,” he said.
The technical director also expressed the determination of the board to ensure the nation tops the medal table as it hosts the African Athletics Championship in 2018.
The federation confirmed that the continental championships for senior athletes will be hosted by the nation in 2018, with Delta accepting to host the continent.