AFN hopeful of building successes of Commonwealth Games

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ABUJA – The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) hopes to consolidate on the successes recorded at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games  and African Athletics Championships (AAC) in Morocco, an official has said.

Omatseye Nesiama, AFN’s Technical Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja the Federation plans an even better performance at next month’s IAAF Inter-Continental Cup.

Team Nigeria followed up their brilliant performance at the Commonwealth Games by winning the highest number of medals by any country at the AAC last week.

Team Nigeria won a total of 24 medals, made up of eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze, but still finished below South Africa on account of number of gold medals won.

South Africa topped the medals table with a total of 19 medals, made up of 10 gold, five silver and four bronze.

“The whole effort which culminated into the victory just achieved is a warning signal that we are back to the glory days.

“Nigerians can be assured of pleasant surprises by the grace of God in Morocco. [eap_ad_1] “All we require now is partnership, co-operation and support for our programmes from well-meaning individuals and organisations,’’ Nesiama said.

He said the performance by Nigerian athletes at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games as well as the AAC would make them a big target at the Inter-Continental Cup.

“All eyes will surely be on our athletes in Morocco and we are bracing up for the challenges.

“All athletes from other countries will like to beat Blessing Okagbare in the 100m and 200m or Ese Brume in the women’s long jump,’’ the AFN Technical Director said.

He however said the federation was not going to focus its attention on one particular area in Morocco because it has good athletes in all the events.

“I am optimistic that we will build on our successes. But I know the battle won’t be easy, because other countries will be looking to keep the pressure on us, Nesiama said.

“That success is a clear signal that in spite of odds and difficulties, we can as a team always rise up to the occasion.

“It’s a good reward to the athletes, technical crew and Board of the AFN and I particularly congratulate the AFN President, Solomon Ogba, for his resilience and selfless leadership style.’’

Next month’s Inter-Continental Cup is billed for Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 in Marrakech, Morocco.(NAN)