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2023 World Athletics Championships: FG urges  AFN to select best athletes for Nigeria


2023 World Athletics Championships: FG urges  AFN to select best athletes for Nigeria

The Federal Government has called on the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), to ensure professionalism and strict selection process for athletes that will represent Nigeria at the 2023 World Athletics Championships

The Voice Media Trust (VMT NEWS) reports that the 2023 World Athletics Championships is billed for Budapest, Hungry, from Aug. 19 to  27.

Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, said this on Thursday, just as the national trials comes to a close in Benin city, Edo.

Mohammed Manga, Director Press in the ministry in a statement quoted the Permanent Secretary as assuring both local and foreign-based athletes equal opportunities.

Abubakar advised the athletes to show utmost dedication at the trials, so that Nigeria can select the best for the all important championships.

He restated the commitment of the ministry to the full implementation of policies and initiatives, that would  help unlock opportunities for the youth to develop their sporting talents.

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Meanwhile, the AFN has warned that foreign-based athletes, who fail to show up for the national trails, would be shut out from participating in the championships.

Rita Mosindi, AFN Secretary General stressed that attending the national trials was compulsory, even for foreign-based athletes to be part of the Nigerian contingent.

“AFN has a policy in the selection of athletes for major competitions, including the World Championships. If you don’t come for the national trials, you won’t go to Budapest.

“The only condition for the AFN to consider such an athlete for the World Championship is if he or she tenders a genuine case of ill-health.

“In that case, our medical team has to be notified, and the board has to take a decision on it. For now, no athlete has informed me of his or her absence from the national trials.

“We have only heard rumours that some athletes would not be here for the national trials, but the rules are clear. If you don’t come, forget the ticket,” she said.

AFN’s hard stand came just as 12 U.S. based athletes trained at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, on Monday in preparation for the event.

The   country will use the trials  to select its flag bearers to the World Championships.

Samuel Onikeku, AFN Technical Director also reiterated that it is the AFN that will register athletes for the World Championships, thus calling on them to ensure participation at the trials.

VMT NEWS reports that the national trials which began on Tuesday with over 450 athletes, including world champions Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume and others at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, will end on Friday.

Tobi Amusan and Usheoritse Itshekiri have already claimed Nigeria’s 100m huddle ticket (women and men) at the event and will be representing Nigeria in Budapest.

Blessing Ogundiran of Edo also won the 100m  with a personal best of 11:50 secs

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