AFN to engage athletes in top competitions ahead of AAG, IAAF World championships, Olympics

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LAGOS – The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Monday said it had concluded plans engage athletes in top competitions, ahead of major championships in 2015.
Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, the Technical Director of AFN told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in that the programmes would be lined up in a way that would not over-stress athletes before the competitions.
Some of the competitions holding in 2015 include the All Africa Games (AAG), the IAAF World Championships, as well as the 2016 Olympic Games.
“We on our part as managers have planned the next season’s programme in such a way as ensure our athletes are not over-stressed.
“We want and need them be ready to strike when it matters most, which is at competitions; the technical committee is ready to engage the athletes in enough competitions.
“We will be on hand advise the athletes and coaches on how to manage the athletes and competitions to attend that would suit their training plan and therefore help their performance,’’ he said.
Nesiama said competitions would be tailored towards performance, noting that the Golden leagues would not start until the season matured.
“Invitation would be based on performance recorded during the All-Comers competitions held at the beginning of the season preceding the Golden commencement,’’ he said.
Nesiama also said that the 2015 National trials would be organised at a time when athletes could be properly assessed.
“We will fix our national trials at a time that would enable a proper assessment of the true status of our athletes.
“With an expectation that they would do better than their trial performance at major events,’’ he said.
Nesiama urged coaches apply the strategies learnt at the Abuja camp to prepare their athletes, saying that AFN had concluded plans to support coaches performing well at established training groups in the country.
“Most of the pre-season conditions that we taught the coaches at the Abuja camp be applied because it is important their performance next season.
“The federation has also concluded plans to support the coaches at established training groups in different athletics disciplines all over the country.
“This initiative is to bring technical support and monitoring directly to the athletes’ place of habitat,’’ he said.
The technical director however advised athletes and coaches to remain focused in the 2015 season because major events would be organised.
“Athletes have to be very focused in the next season as it is a world championships year and a year just preceding the next Olympics.
“Besides, it is another long season as we have the All African Games,’’ he said.
Nesiama noted that the newly-introduced International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) entry standard for athletes that would participate at the 2015 IAAF championships was not something to worry about.
“The IAAF’s new regulations about qualification standards, I had the opportunity of being briefed about it in Lisbon, Portugal.
“ I stress that it is not much of a big deal as the federations still has the prerogative to determine the methodology to use to select the athletes that would enter for the IAAF competitions, provided the athletes meet the single standard set in the past,’’ he added. (NAN)