AFN Performance Director, Okorie, joins ‘Team Leaders’ tour in Oregon, USA
• Counsels Oduduru, Amusan, others ahead new athletics season
Newly appointed Performance Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), former 400m hurdler, Victor Okorie, has joined the ‘Team Leaders Site Visit’ for tour of facilities in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America ahead the 2022 World Athletics Championship.
Okorie, the southeast zonal representative on the AFN board, won a lot of medals for Nigeria in his active days, including a silver at Abuja 2003 All African Games. He also won the 400m hurdles at Imo ‘98 and Bauchi 2000 National Sports Festival, and flew the nation’s flag at 2003 World Athletics Championship held in Paris, France.
Okorie was Middle Tennessee State University school 400m hurdles record holder for several years, as well as Sunbelt Conference record holder. He qualified for the Athens 2004 Olympics with an A standard, but pulled out due to injury. Okorie retired with a personal best time of 49.19seconds in the 400m hurdles.
Speaking with The Guardian from Los Angeles, California, before he connected a flight to Eugene, Oregon, yesterday, Okorie said the ‘Team Leaders Site Visit’ would enable officials from different parts of the world ascertain the level of preparation by the host city for the 2022 World Athletics Championship.
“The visit is to enable us familarise ourselves with the the facilities. Americans will always go for the best in terms of facilities, but there is the need for us to see what is on ground. I am representing the AFN here,” Okorie said.
The tour of facilities began yesterday and will end tomorrow (Wednesday).
Meanwhile, Okorie has opened talk with some top U.S.-based Nigerian athletes ahead the new athletics season, which is expected to begin in December.
“There is need for me to rub minds with some of our athletes on some of the things they need to do,” Okorie said. “I have spoken with Ruth Usoro, Yinka Ajayi, Tobi Amusan, Rosemary Chukwuma, Divine Oduduru, Enekwechi Chukwuebuka, Chioma Onyekwere, Annette Echikunwoke, Oyesade Olatoye and Rilwan Alowonle, among others.
I check on them on a weekly basis to see how their training is going. This new AFN board led by Chief Tonobok Okowa, will carry the athletes along in whatever thing we do. We will give them the encouragement they need to get good results. All we need is the support of Nigerians and the government.”