Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Solomon Ogba said that it was not in the best interest of Nigeria to present over-aged athletes at the maiden Africa Athletics Youth Championships billed for March 27-31 in Warri, Delta State.
Over the years, Nigerian officials desperate to win and justify themselves, had always had recourse to field overage athletes at international event. But Ogba said in Lagos that the AFN will only present athlete who fit into the under-17 age limit for the African youth champion-ships.
“Though it is our intention to host and win we will not field overage athletics. It is not in our overall best interest.
“We have had athletes participating in junior championships before. Take for instance Mary Onyali she started at 17 and she was there competing for a very long time. It is our intention to have a crop of athletes we can train for the future from the championships in Warri,” Ogba stated.
He said that athletes selected from the Pastor D.K Olukoya Championships, which ended yesterday will be camped at the high performance centre in Port Harcourt. He added that the athletes who did the country proud at the championships, will have the right to represent Nigeria at the world youth championships in Russia later in the year.
Delta State Sports Council boss Pinnick Amaju remarked that every Delta State athlete who won gold in the Warri meet, will get the State’s assistant in their pursuit of academic and athletics prosperity.