Nigeria ‘ll surpass old records at 2022 Commonwealth Games, says Alli
• AFN Will Present A Formidable Team—Okowa
Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, former long jumper, Yussuf Alli, has predicted that Team Nigeria will record a good outing at this year’s Commonwealth Games holding in Birmingham, England.
The Sports Ministry, on Wednesday, appointed Alli as Team Nigeria’s Coordinator for the Commonwealth Games.
For about two decades, Alli was the ‘commander-in-chief’ in African athletics, particularly in the long jump event. Apart from being a three-time Olympian, Alli is best remembered for his gold medal at Auckland ‘90 Commonwealth Games.
Till date, his Personal Best of 8.27 metres, which he set in 1989 during the African Athletics Championships in Lagos, still stands as Nigeria’s record. He also holds school records for the long jump – both indoor and outdoor (set in 1984 and 1983) respectively for the University of Missouri in the United States.
Alli was Africa’s captain, longest Nigeria’s captain, Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), and Manager, COJA Committee for the 8th African Games held in Abuja in 2003. Alli was the captain of Team Nigeria to two consecutive Olympic Games, at Los Angeles ‘84 and Seoul ’88.
Speaking with The Guardian shortly after his appointment, Alli said he would deploy his experience to make sure Team Nigeria get the best results at the Games.
The Sports ministry stated that Alli will, in collaboration with officials of the ministry, coordinate and ensure the success of Team Nigeria by working as a bridge between the athletes, federations and the ministry in Birmingham.
Team Nigeria finished in ninth place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. It won nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals.
However, Nigeria’s best performance ever was in Victoria, Canada in 1994, where the country finished in fourth position with 11 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals.
Meanwhile, President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, has said that the federation is working hard to produce a formidable squad at the Commonwealth Games in July.
Okowa told The Guardian that AFN would use the fast approaching African Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, Eugene, U.S. to perfect its strategies ahead of the Commonwealth Games.