Monday, 24 June 2013
Coaches worried over poor timing in Calabar
Some Coaches on Saturday expressed concern over the unimpressive return time posted by some of the athletes at the just-concluded All Nigeria/Cross River Open Athletics championships in Calabar.
The coaches said in Calabar that it was unfortunate that most of the athletes failed to meet the qualification standard set by the International Amateur Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Mutiu Oluwa, a coach from Edo, said that the athletes must improve on their time if they were to stand any chance of qualifying for the world championships.
Oluwa said that the Calabar championships proved more work was needed, adding that only the women’s relay teams were certain of qualification, as it stood.
“My assessment is that the athletes still have a lot of work to do. Only a few of them have hit their qualification mark, but most are still struggling.
“We’ve only qualified for the women’s 4x100m and 4x400m. The 4x400m men have not qualified, they have to be among the first 16 best relay teams in the world,” he said.
Another coach, Richard Ogunleye, from Kaduna state, said he was worried about the performances of the athletes and expressed fears many of them might not qualify for the world championships.
He also disclosed that only the women’s 100m, 400m and relays qualification criteria had been met, and urged the athletes to improve.
“The athletes need to do more work. During our days, you might finish the 100m in 10.40 secs and still not qualify.
“Having said all these, I still believe they’ve got the potential to improve, but some may not qualify for the world championships’’.
Johnson Abiodun, the Chief Coach of Kwara State Athletic Association, said the athletes must be engaged in competitions frequently to perform optimally.
He said it was sad to see the athletes struggling to meet the IAAF qualification requirements and urged sports administrators to go back to the grassroots.
“Much of the athletes haven’t met the international standard and to my own understanding, we still need to go back to the grassroots.
“The athletes must be engaged regularly in competitions. We need more competitions to bring out the best in them, but right now, we have to just hold on to what they’re able to offer,” he said.
The competition ended on Friday.