Abubakar raises the alarm over slow preparation for Paris 2024 Olympics
Africa’s former number one tennis player, Prof. Sadiq Abubakar, has raised the alarm over the country’s poor preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics barely one year to the Games.
The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will hold from July 26 to August 11.
Abubakar, who participated in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, said leaving preparations for the Games to a few months before the competition means Nigeria would only go to Paris as a participant and not medals contender.
Apart from athletics, he said nothing seems to be happening in other events; even in those sports the country has competitive advantage.
“Other nations started preparing for Paris 2024 Olympics a day after the last one in Japan. They know who is not going to cut it and they have been preparing and supporting those that will make it.
“They have a calendar right from the beginning and they stay with the calendar till competition time.
“For all these nations that take the Olympics very serious, funding for the Games is already secured and all they worry is about is performance and how to improve their athletes.
“For Nigeria, that is not the case. After every Olympics, everybody goes away until a few months to the next Games.
“It is the responsibility of the national sports federations, who should have identified their elite athletes and then started preparing them.
“The last Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, said we would only participate in the few sports that we have comparative advantage. We should have been training athletes in those sports, attending local and international competitions to put them in competition mood.”
The adjunct professor at Florida International University and Miami Dade College described athletics as the only federation ready for the Games, saying it has been featuring in local and international competitions.
“The athletes know who to expect at the Games and what should be expected from every athlete. But that is not the same for some others,” he said, picking boxing as an example of how not to prepare for the Olympics.
“Boxing should be better managed than it is now and that is the failure of the ministry for not pushing the federation. The fault also goes to the federation for not pushing their boxers to qualify for the Olympics.”
“We need to identify the problems with these federations and solve it first to get going. Look at what is happening to basketball…everything is in disarray and the sport is suffering. As it is right now, funding is a problem. The leadership problem is affecting the teams such that strange things are happening to a federation that was re4cently Africa’s number one.”
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