2019 National Athletics Trials: Read Onyali exposé on why the Athletes performed poorly

2019 National Athletics Trials: Read Onyali exposé on why the Athletes performed poorly
June 27 16:33 2019 Print This Article

 By Martin Odiete

Much as most Nigerians have expressed disappointment with the performances of the Nigeria Athletes at the just concluded National Athletics Trials that took place at the MKO Abiola stadium, Abuja, former Africa 100 and 200 meters champion, Mary Onyali who herself was not too impressed with their performances however gave reasons for the poor outing.

Speaking with www.theajasanews.com, Onyali explained that the Athletes were not at their peak owing to the fact that the date for the trials was brought back several weeks from the original date it was scheduled to hold. She stressed that Athletes train and conditions themselves ahead of events aguing that the shift in date totally knocked them off.

“The performances is not what we are used to, it has really dropped. The shock of bringing the trial back by almost a month is the reason why you are seeing this. The Federation has planned the trials for July so that it will accommodate everybody, the coaches are aware, the Athletes are all aware. They are all working towards it because you plan and you program your Athletes towards major trials like this. Because this is big deal, but since the ministry decided to bring it back for couple of weeks it threw everybody off, it threw the Athletes, the coaches and the Federation off. But either way, I think it is a good thing for them to have something to do and once the team is selected they will probably have to plan for something bigger than this so that you can have all the Athletes to participate. Especially our overseas based Athletes; they did get a chance to come because of the shock.

The former Nigeria sprint sensation revealed further that Nigeria Athletics representatives for the All Africa Games would not all be selected from the Abuja trial.

“This is half of us and whatever is selected here is half of what is supposed to make it to the All Africa Games. None of our foreign based Athletes are here, so you know already that once they are included in the team we will get a bigger contingent and the real team will be selected. This is not the end, it’s a trial but this is not the final.

“This a trial for home based Athletes, it was supposed to be an all encompassing trials for all our Athletes but the foreign based Athletes couldn’t make it because of the change in date and we have no choice but to still have it so that our home based Athletes can have something to participate, but at the end of the day we are now going to merge the two together. Those that are at overseas competing and going on with their programs, we know who they are, we know where they are and their time, the time they run before now till now are been recorded. It’s in the system. At the click of the button you can get anybody, anywhere in the world. Even the trials here, the time would even be sent to the IAAF. So, when you merge all together we will come up with a stronger team. But it would have been ideal just like other Nations are doing to have the trials one time,” she concluded.

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