The Athletics Federation of Nigeria will kickstart its 2021 calendar of activities with the All-Comers competition holding on Saturday at the Federal University of Technology in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The competition, the first in the calendar of events for the year, is designed to help athletes gauge their level of preparedness for the National Sports Festival, which begins next month on Valentine’s day in Benin City, Edo State.
Prince Adeniyi Adisa Beyioku, who is the Secretary General of the AFN, says the federation has written to all the states of the federation to make their athletes available for the competition.
Beyioku said: “Our sights are firmly on the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and our programme of activities for the elite athletes is geared towards getting the them ready to qualify for their respective events and of course for the relays.
“Nigeria has not qualified for any of the five relay events scheduled for Tokyo and some of our athletes based here at home are integral parts of whatever relay teams we are putting together hence the need to offer them competition that will help in their training.”
The AFN Secretary General further revealed that training camp for the Olympics will open immediately after the festival at the end of February or early March and the federation has mapped out plans to ensure all its objectives for opening the camp are met.
He said: “We want to qualify all our relay teams for the Olympics.
“There are now five relay teams because of the 4x400m mixed relays that has been added to the schedule.
“We will organise evaluation meets for athletes in camp and others with the objective of keeping those in camp on their feet.
“It is going to be elimination by substitution after each meet before the trials where the final team will be picked for the Tokyo Games.”