—To Coach Nigerian Athletes In Beijing
By Dare Esan:
Former Commonwealth long jump champion, Yusuf Ali, and president of Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria, Gabriel Okon, have been selected by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to lead a three-man team of coaches to train Nigerian athletes at the 15th IAAF World Championships starting on Saturday August 22, 2015 in Beijing.
Ali,twice finalist (8th in 1983 in Helsinki with a leap of 7.89m & 11th in 1987 in Rome with a leap of 8.00m) in the long jump event at the championship is expected to be in-charge of triple jumper,Tosin Oke’s training for the competition while Okon will be in-charge of the sprints,including the quartermile and the relays (4×100 and 4x400m women).
The third coach listed for the trip to Beijing is Police Officer,Solomon Aliyu who is expected to be in charge of sprint hurdler,Lindsay Lindley and the quartermile barrier duo of Miles Ukaoma and Amaka Ogoegbunam.
None of the coaches listed has had anything to do with the build-up and subsequent training of any of the 17 athletes listed while high jumper,Doreen Amata has been left to fend for herself as her coach,Kola Adebayo was left out.
Curiously,no female coach has been adjudged good enough for the team despite the fact that 14 out of the 17 athletes that will dorn Nigeria’s colours in Beijing are ladies.
Meanwhile Professor Ken Anugweje has been made leader of the travelling team with Afe Anthony Oberuakpepe, George Olamide, four-time 400m finalist (1995,1997,1999 & 2001) Falilat Ogunkoya and Enefiok Udo-Obong listed as team officials while Samuel Olutimeyin Ogbondeminu and Jimoh Adeyemi Oroge will be in-charge o the medical department.
Former journalist, Olukayode Thomas, will serve as Team Press Liaison in Beijing.