Lagos, April 24, 2019 Omatseye Nesiama, a member of Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Technical and Competitions Commission, says he is proud of the achievements and performances of athletes who represented Nigeria in Abidjan.
Nesiama, who officiated at the championships, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the high points for him were Favour Ofili’s feat and the record broken by the athletes.
Nigeria featured no fewer than 86 athletes at the third U-18 and 14th U-20 championships which held from April 16 to April 20 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Nesiama, also said that another high point for him at the competition was his professionalism in officiating the high jump event.
“The high points of the competition to me were many. One of it was to see Nigeria producing the best overall female athlete, Ofili Favour, this is no mean feat.
“Another high point is being very professional in my officiating the U-18 male high jump event where a Nigerian won with a personal best,” he said.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) licensed Manager, said that he was happy seeing the young athletes do the country proud, even though, he could not show it during the competition.
“Naturally as a Nigerian, I was excited many times internally to see Nigeria win medals.
“But, I had to be professional in my conduct and outlook generally, especially when I’m officiating at events that had Nigerian participants,” he said.
He, however, commended the athletes’ performances and their spirit of patriotism.
“Team Nigeria’s performance can be considered good, bearing in mind what the entire team had to go through logistics wise.
“They travelled by road and arrived at the eve of the competition and it took time before they could get settled into the Athlete’s Village.
“Overall, most of the athletes gave good account of themselves, even breaking competition records,” he said.
Nesiama, a former Technical Director, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), also advised the young athletes to remain focused on their career and ignore the politics of sports.
“From my experience as former Technical Director, I know that relatively young athletes that are determined to perform will still largely do so when they don’t see logistics hiccups as barriers to success but rather, as a possible springboard towards success in their set goals.
“Thus, I will advise them as always to concentrate on their athletics career and not dabble into the politics of sports.
“This was the same advice I gave to the likes of Divine Oduduru, Ese Brume and Tobi Amusan,” he said.
NNN reports that the team which left Abidjan on Sunday morning arrived in Nigeria early hours on Tuesday.
The Team Nigeria came third position in the U-18 and U-20 categories respectively.
South Africa topped the medal table, while Kenya came second in the U-18 category while in the U-20 category, Kenya came first and South Africa placed second.