AFN in search of venue for Olympics trials
• We want to avoid repeat of Asaba 2018, says official
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) may have started searching for a new venue for its national trials ahead of the Tokyo Olympics Games.
The Trials were earlier scheduled to hold at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos between June 18 and 21, but an official of the AFN told The Guardian yesterday that the body might change the venue to avoid a repeat of what happened at Asaba 2018, when results of the African Senior Athletics Championships were allegedly not ratified by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) and IAAF, now World Athletics.
Then, at Asaba 2018, apart from the walk race, shot put and pole vault, the CAA and IAAF turned down all the race time and field distances performed by athletes due to poor state of the facilities. The organisers later said it was due to equipment fault and not the stadium.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, a board member of the AFN said World Athletics (WA) may not recognise the results if the national trials for the Tokyo Olympics hold at the tartan track of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
“Initially, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, was picked as venue for the national trials, but we want to avoid the mistake of Asaba 2018. We understand that the track at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba has been corrected.”
If we are able to get certify it, we might approach Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to host the National Trials. The Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin City would have been perfect for the trials, but Governor Godwin Obaseki is still angry and may not host it.”
The AFN official continued: “We can’t go to Rivers State now because of the security situation. One other option left for us is the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. But that will depend on the current state of the tartan track. The bottom line is that we are searching for venue for the national trials.”
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