The African U18 and U20 Championships slated to hold in Abidjan, from April 16th – 20th, will be one to prove Nigeria’s dominance in the Continent within the age brackets, according to the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye.
In a phone interview with Nigeria Athletics, after the federation released a strong 85-man list of athletes that’ll represent the country, Adeleye was optimistic on his expectations from the named athletes.
“My expectations are very high, because we want to prove our dominance in the Continent. We selected the athletes on merit, because we believe they can go out there and perform well for themselves.
The athletes selected in the U18 category are young, so we want to give them equal opportunities to perform at such level, while those in U20 will have the chance of proving how well they can perform as regards monitoring their progress to the senior level. The performances of all athletes selected will be monitored, so their progress can be ensured years from now.”
He also spoke on the need why there was at least an athlete in all events, something rarely seen in Team Nigeria list for Championships.
“We don’t want Nigeria to just be known for sprints and few field events, we want to start testing our strengths in other events as well, such as the long distance ones. Other countries are doing that and If USA, can be winning medals in them, why can’t we start now? So this is us building the foundation for future successes.”
Adeleye, also gave snippet that camp for the selected athletes will be made open immediately after the All Comers meet, scheduled for April 5th – 7th in Abuja.