Saturday, August 23, 2008

Food for Beijing Olympics "100 percent" safe, Beijing official says

As the relay events began at the Beijing Olympic Games, the former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria has predicted that it will be tough for Team Nigeria to win a medal, local media reported on Friday.

Nigeria used to be very strong in the sprint events, but recently has seen its ratings by the International Association of Athletics Federation drop consistently.

Former AFN President Adeyemi-Wilson said that unless the team gets its acts together, it cannot win any relay medal at the ongoing Olympics.

"Our only hope is in the relays and if we do not get our acts together, it is going to be very tough," he said. "I watched the Ethiopian girl winning the 10,000 meters race and my conclusion was that we should start focusing on what we know best."

"I have always opposed spending millions of naira on sponsorship of marathons. We should immediately set up training camps for sprints, jumps and throws in preparation for the 2012 Olympics," he said.

"We can also use part of the money from the National Lottery to train our athletes. The Niger Delta Development Commission should also wake up and sponsor sports in the nine oil-producing states. It will go a long way in reducing militancy by the youths," he added.

Adeyemi-Wilson also urged the armed forces and the paramilitary to develop sportsmen and women for the country, stating that the command schools can produce highly disciplined sportsmen and women for the nation.

He said:"Please, appeal to the governments -- federal, state and local -- to start programs, beginning from now, so that we do not continue performing poorly at international arena."

"I read that the Kenyan male athletes have so far won 16 gold medals at the previous Olympics, while their female athletes have not won any. But camps have now been set up for young female athletes so that they too can be golden! It is a challenge to us," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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