Funds should not be our problems, says Obisanya
Former National Table Tennis Coach, Babatunde Obisanya, has described as unfortunate complaints by some federations that they lack funds to begin their final preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which holds between August 5 and 21.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Obisanya said government has never been serious about the country’s participation at the Olympics Games, lamenting, “while many countries are in the advanced stage of their preparation, here we are still battling with funds for our athletes to embark on training.
“Serious-minded countries have already concluded their plans since December; all they are doing now is a kind of test-running. But it is too bad that each time we went to the Olympics and our athletes perform badly, our next line of decision was to plan well next time.
“We do a lot of talking without no action and follow up. Any money government spend now is not going to yield any result because it would have been too late. It means that we have not learnt lessons from our mistakes in the past Olympics.”
On the personal sacrifice made by some table tennis players to qualify for the Olympics, Obisanya said the priority the government placed on football at the expense of other sports had a negative effect on other sports.
He said: “Football can only earn us a medal unlike when South Africa takes a team of swimmers to the Olympics where they have the potential of winning five medals. Or a country like Kenya going to the Olympics with long distance runners with at least three medals potential”.
Meanwhile, the sports that we stand a chance of winning medals from at the Olympics, the government is not paying much attention on them.”