Athletes present at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, All-Comers event held at the Yaba College of Technology have served a glimpse of what to expect at the First leg of the Federation’s Golden League billed for next weekend (May 14) in Bauchi.
Despite the All-Comers being the season-opener, there were still flashes of brilliance here and there as the athletes gauged their level of preparedness for the new season and most importantly in their mission of hitting the qualifying standards for the Olympics.
Though the times and distances recorded could be better, it is expected that the athletes would improve as the season progresses.
The president of the AFN, Solomon Ogba, as well as other coaches present at the Yaba Tech sporting complex, reckoned that the athletes made a fair start to the season but with a warning that more still needs to be done by any of them hoping to fly the country’s flag in any of the international events billed for this year.
Olympic Bronze medallist, Deji Aliu, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was happy with some of the performances in Lagos but added that it would have been better to have had the Lagos event earlier than when it was finally staged.
“Of course as an ex-athlete, I know what the first competition of the year can look like, the athletes really tried but for me; being an Olympic year, I feel competition should have started a bit earlier,” Aliu said.
Some of the events that held at the Lagos All-Comers Event were the men and women’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m, 100m/110m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles. The field events include the men and women’s Triple Jump, Long Jump, Javelin throw, Shot put and a host of others.
In some of the high points, Divine Oduduru won the Men’s 100m but the sprinter was by no means pleased with his winning time of 10.36secs.
Oduduru told reporters that he was aware that much more was expected from him.
“I’m not really happy with it. I think I’m going to run much faster by the time the Golden League begins. I am working very hard with my coach so that I can do very well at the Olympics, and even though I’ve gotten the qualifying standard in the 200m, I’m still waiting for that of the 100m,” Oduduru said.
Olukayode Thomas, Head of Media for the AFN, said after the All-comers event that the best performers will get invitations to compete at the Golden League.