Renowned athletics coach, Rotimi Obajimi has said only a miracle will see Nigeria surpass her 2014 medals haul in the athletics event of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Speaking with Daily Sun Sports in Lagos ahead of the Games which begin today, Obajimi admitted that he had not seen anything different from the preparations of Nigerian athletes before now.
“I may not be close to the present board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN but I can’t say for sure how the preparations have gone. There was nothing on any Nigerian athlete in the build up to the Games and that is worrisome. Perhaps, Nigeria wants to use the Commonwealth Games as a preparatory ground to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. As far as I am concerned this Commonwealth Games is not where our athletes would excel but at the next Africa Games.”
Asked if Nigeria would depend on Blessing Okagbare for medals, Obajimi posited that Nigeria should by now look beyond the Africa queen of tracks.
“As far as I am concerned, we should be looking to the next generation that will bring up athletes like Okagbare. It’s not the question of whether we can bank on Okagbare.
We should be looking at the next generation of athletes to help us win medals. We should also ask ourselves some questions like, who are the people that are behind Blessing. So, let’s leave Blessing alone, let us talk about the next set of athletes.”
“What are the performance standards that have been set and what are the goals and objectives in order to be able to get the athletes to perform. Those are the things that we should be talking about.”
In the men’s sprint category, Obajimi regretted that Nigeria no longer have athletes in the likes of Chidi Imoh, Innocent Egbunike and their likes.