TONOBOK Okowa, president, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and Solomon Alao, chairman, Lagos State Athletics Association (LAA), on Wednesday tipped Team Nigeria to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics relay events.
They said Thursday’s Lagos Open Athletics championships billed for Teslim Balogun Stadium would afford Team Nigeria another chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics relay events, having failed in its last bid at the National trials held earlier.
The officials told journalists in Lagos that the athletes were all in high spirits, and a conducive environment had been put in place at the Lagos Open Athletics Championships to aid their qualification for Tokyo Olympics.
“We are trying to support our athletes and give them an enabling environment to qualify for the olympics.
“If they fail to achieve that now, that means we might have to wait for another four years. Nigeria deserves to be in the relay events at the olympics and that’s what we are trying to achieve,” Alao said.
The AFN president assured that the athletes were well motivated to deliver on the required qualifying times for the olympics at the Lagos meet, even as he called for support for the athletes.
“We have already had a good pep talk with the athletes and we are doing our best to make them ready.
“I am sure that the athletes are in good spirits, ready and I pray we get the qualification. We want everyone to come around to cheer the team to victory.
“We need to encourage our athletes and not talk them down. We need everyone to work together as a team so as to achieve victory,” Okowa said.
Yussuf Ali, the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, assured of a seamless organisation.
“We felt they failed to get the time at the National trials after they exhausted themselves in their individual events.
“We are optimistic they are well-rested now and good to go for another shot at qualifying for the olympics,” he said.
The News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games are scheduled to hold from July 23 to Aug. 8.
– June 23, 2021 @ 19:10 GMT|