Warri — The Director of Grassroot Development in the National Sports Commission Alhaji Al-Hassan Yakmut, has said has said the African Youth Athletics Championship which is ongoing in Warri, Delta State is coming at the time when Nigeria needs it most.
Yakmut said in Warri that it is due to the importance which Nigeria attaches to the championship that she is presenting 64 athletes both male and female, and 20 technical officials.
"Out of the 64, we expect that the elite programme that would be drawn from 2013 to 2016 will start with those who win gold and silver at the championship, and a technical programme is being drawn at the Sports Commission before being sent down to the federations to ensure that after this exercise, athletes are not kept where there won't be technical provisions.
" So we feel that after this championship, we will have the correct statistics of the athletes of hope of the 2016 Olympics, and they would be test-run at the 2014 Commonwealth as well as 2015 All Africa Games", he revealed.
Yakmut applauded the efforts of Nigeria for raising a fresh poll of talents in six major sports: Athletics, Weight lifting, wrestling, para-power lifting and para-athletics as well as Shooting takwando, but advised that the tempo should be maintained to avoid going to the 2016 Olympics as people who did not do their home work well.
"We are going there with almost accurate prediction of what we would be getting in return by God's grace", assured the Director who revealed that "It's like all the things are coming after the abysmal failure of 2012 Olympics".
Yakmut maintained that the National Sports Commission is now trying to put its house in order by coming up with a lot of programmes in collaborations with the Federations because they are the field operators.