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Athletics coach decries poor condition of tracks at National Stadium


LAGOS – The Head Coach of Godswill Athletics Club, Lagos, Dennis Joseph, on Monday decried the poor state of training facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere.

Joseph told the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the condition of the tartan tracks at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos, was in awful, saying that it was distracting the focus of athletes.

According to him, lack of adequate facilities has been one of the factors behind failure of athletes to match the standards of their counterparts abroad.

“If you want to talk about facilities, that area is zero. This is the National Stadium, look at the tracks, they were worn out totally.

“We want to go to gym there now, we don’t have space, no weight for training.

“The athletes cannot free their mind to run in this track now. If they are running, they have to be running cautiously because the track is dead.

“We have stone in there; that means they have to mind where they step in so that they will not get themselves injured.

“While there (abroad), somebody can easily close his eyes and run, meaning he’s now focusing from the start to the finishing line but here you’ll be watching the track where you step in, so that means you’re not giving the best in that area.’’

Joseph said it was also disheartening that athletes were allowed to train in the stadium twice weekly and appealed to the stadium manager for improved access of the athletes into the facility.

The coach, who described Lagos as the centre of athletics, said that many of the athletes now train at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) sports ground. (NAN)

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