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Coach Urges AFN To Strengthen Talent Discovery, Grooming

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A former Chief Coach (Athletics) with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Amelia Edet,  has appealed to the federation not to relent in the discovery and grooming of talents at the grassroots.

Edet told newsmen  in Lagos that discovering and nurturing talents was the surest way for Nigeria to regain its lost glory in athletics in international competitions.

“In the next five years, if the federation maintains its discovery and nurturing of talents with the staging of regular competitions, the sport will certainly develop immensely.

“However, the welfare of the young athletes has to be taken into serious consideration, to have good athletes to represent the country at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and beyond,“ she said.

The coach noted that serious nations hardly recycled athletes, saying that recycling the same old athletes usually slows down the growth of sports generally.

“If we want to develop sports, recycling of athletes should be stopped. When an athlete gets to retirement stage, such should not be allowed to remain in the competitive stage.

“Recycling the same athletes hinders sports development,’’ she added.

She also canvassed the development of school sports for an enhanced overall development of sports, saying sports fortunes had greatly dwindled in the country due to the neglect of schools sports.

“All what I am saying is that we should go back to the schools. A lot of athletes were discovered from the primary and secondary schools,’’ Edet said.

She stressed the need for athletes to combine sports with education, saying that if athletes made money without formal education, they may not be able to spend the money wisely.

“If you make money and you do not have anything in your head, how will you be able to spend the money judiciously?’’ she wondered.

According to her, such an athlete will soon go bankrupt and will be left with nothing.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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