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Consultant advises AFN on strategies for Olympic medal haul

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria celebrates winning gold in the Women's 100 metres final at Hampden Park during day five of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 28, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. PHOTO: Cameron Spencer/Getty

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria celebrates winning gold in the Women’s 100 metres final at Hampden Park during day five of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 28, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. PHOTO: Cameron Spencer/Getty

A renowned athletics coach, Tony Osheku, on Monday urged the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to adopt strategies that could enable the country to win medals at the forthcoming Olympics.

The 2016 Olympic Games are scheduled for Aug. 5 to Aug. 21 in Rio de Jainero, Brazil.

Osheku who expressed fear that the country might not win a medal, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that issues like preparation and structure should be revisited.

“The country’s dismal performance at the recent World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, U.S., is an indication that we are not prepared.

“I am sceptical about our performance at the forthcoming Olympics, four years ago; we said we will start preparing for the next Games.

“What we are still seeing is just bragging, and then the fire brigade approach starts a month to the Olympics. We should emulate what top countries are doing in terms of preparation.

“We need to tighten our seat belt if we want to win a medal at the Olympics,’’ he said.

He also disagreed with the notion of holding a national camp, adding that a number of athletes should be assigned to a particular coach for training.

“Coaches should be empowered, I do not believe in bringing all the athletes and coaches to a national camp. Envy also crops up when we are in the camp.

“If a coach is in Lagos, give him at least five athletes to train, check the coach’s programme, monitor him but give him a free hand,’’ he said.

Osheku, also said the country was blessed with talented young athletes, noting that the problem was good structure to nurture the athletes.



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