Onyali backs Team Nigeria to shine at London 2012 Olympics

L-R: Passing the Baton - African sprint champion Blessing Okagbare receives a cheque from former African queen, Mary Onyali, at the All-Nigeria Championships in Calabar last year.

There are strong indications that Nigeria athletics team to the London 2012 Olympics will do the nation proud in London.

According to Nigeria’s bronze medalist in the 200m at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, the late or rather fire brigade approach to preparations for important competitions has not done the country any good and stated that it is only athletics that stand any chance in London due to the training tour embarked upon by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for the athletes.

She said Nigerians should not expect much from Team Nigeria as she also urged the country’s track and field athletes to aim high as they step up their preparation for the Games, saying the appointment of Innocent Egbunike as head coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, would boost the country’s chances of doing well at the Games.

“With just few months left for the Games and Nigeria just starting preparations shows that we should have a rethink concerning the expectations from Team Nigeria because I don’t see them performing wonders in London.”

“Preparations for Olympic Games should have commenced immediately after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games ended but being what Nigeria is known for (fire brigade approach), we are just starting ours when some other countries are rounding up theirs.”

“I believe the appointment of Egbunike as coach of the Nigeria athletics team would make things work for Nigerian athletes,” Onyali said.

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