Asaba 2018: Olympian warns Nigeria to beware of South Africa

Prestige Otaben

Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lawrence Adegbehingbe has said South African athletes will pose the greatest challenge to the Nigerian athletes at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta State, from August 1 to 5.

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Adegbehingbe, who is a retired Director at the Ondo State Ministry of Sports, told our correspondent on the telephone that Nigerians would dominate the competition but would face a lot of challenges from Kenyans and South Africans.

He said, “Nigeria will dominate the competition, but we should not forget that the Kenyans are tough. They have their strength in the middle and long distance races. Other countries like Cameroon, Senegal and Ivory Coast will challenge our athletes but the greatest threat will come from the South Africans.”

While praising the athletes for giving their best at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Adegbehingbe said the Athletics Federation of Nigeria should be commended for the proper treatment given to the athletes during camping and at the competition.

Adegbehingbe, who represented Nigeria at the Los Angeles 1984 Olymics, advised the government to make policies that would allow for the development of sports. He also called on the AFN to organise seminars and trainings for coaches.

He said, “Government should come up with a sports policy that will be used not just on paper. In that policy, corporate bodies should be involved in sports development instead of leaving it alone for the government. There should be seminars and trainings to upgrade the technical knowledge of coaches and officials. This is because you can only give what you have.

“A lot of work should also be done on the motivation of the coaches and athletes in order to arouse the zeal in them to give their best all the time.”

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