The Nigeria Sports Commission has broken from the norm and started early preparations for the Commonwealth Games, www.aclsports.com will cover the camps and preparations across the country.
Oladipupo commends early preparation ahead of 2018 Commonwealth Games
As early as 6am, Nigeria Track and Field athletes turn out in their numbers to train at the University of Port Harcourt High Performance Centre. While some train for as many as 3-4 hours and are done for the day, others make a return in the evening to round off the day’s training.
Each take to different spots under the supervision of their respective coaches as they go through the rigorous training sessions of the day which enhances their fitness, flexibility, endurance, speed etc. The decision by the present AFN board to open camp early have shown they have learnt lessons from the past board.
Earlier this month, AFN released the official 40 man list invited for the 2018 Commonwealth Games camp in Port Harcourt.
Speaking to ACLSports.com, Coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ishola Oladipupo praised the sports ministry for opening camp four months to the Games. “We have to thank the sport commission for putting us in camp early and not a fire brigade approach where camp is opened two weeks before the tournament. Good we have a plan to work with before the Games.”
Oladipupo said he is impressed with the fighting spirit displayed by the invited athletes camped at the University of Port Harcourt High Performance Centre.
Oladipupo said that the athletes are determined to do well at Gold Coast, Australia in April.
“I am impressed with what I am seeing at the moment. They all want to wear the green and white, showing how ready they are to make the nation proud. The athletes were also not distracted during the festive period because they have their minds on the big task in April. We are working to get the job done so we are all confident it will be a great outing.”
He has no specific target for the Games right now but would wait to see the performance of the athletes at the Commonwealth trials in Uyo, February 14-17 before setting his targets.
Nigeria finished on 8th position with 11 gold, 11silver and 14 bronze medals four years ago.
Meanwhile, Nigeria quarter-miler Isah Salihu hopes to do well in Gold Coast after a disappointing outing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
“We didn’t arrive early to acclimatize with the weather in London which affected our performance. I am confident it will be better this time around with what I have seen so far.
Salihu finished in 4th with 47.51 seconds and failed to advance to the final of the 400m event in 2014. Other quarter-milers also failed to advance.
“Usually Nigeria picks 6 quarter-milers while some other countries pick 8 to have replacement when there are cases of injuries, illnesses or some can run flat while others will be in the reserves. It will be good if we all run a good time because it will be worthless winning the national trials with a poor time. If the final 6 or 8 quarter-milers picked can run 46 or 45 seconds and below, we will be able to get Nigeria on the medal table” he said.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place in Gold Coast, Australia April 4th to the 15th.