While the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship held in Doha has ended, the sour taste of Nigeria’s poor performance remains.
To this end, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has inaugurated an Advisory Committee to review Nigeria’s participation at the competition.
The minister gave the committee one week to send its report.
Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, Mr. Dare said the committee is “to appraise the causes and factors responsible for the abysmal performance of the Team Nigeria of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria at the just concluded 2019 World Athletics Championship held in Doha, Qatar from September 26 – October 6, 2019.”
The minister expressed his concern on how the country led the medals table in athletics at the 12th African Games “and struggled in Doha.”
“The concern of the Ministry on the performance of the AFN athletes is underscored by the fact that Team Nigeria of the AFN at the 12th Africa Games held in Morocco in August 16-31, 2019 led the Athletics Medal Table with 23 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 6 Bronze.
“Kenya occupied the 2nd Position with a total of 20 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze. However at the Doha World Athletics Championship, Kenya came 2nd in the overall medal table and 1st Position in Africa with a total of 11 medals.
“… Nigerian achieved a distant 9th position to Kenya with a win of only a Bronze medal. The countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and Namibia all came above Nigeria in Africa.”
The minister said the committee was necessary “as the country will want to avoid future happenings.”
“The main challenge to us as a Ministry and as a nation is on mitigating the unpleasant experiences of Doha in order to avoid future reoccurrences. Accordingly, your Committee has been assigned the following Terms of Reference…
“… To evaluate and advise on the response of the Technical Director of the AFN, Sunday Adeleye, to the query issued to him. Establish outstanding claims to Athletes and Officials from Doha 2019.
“Identify and report on the roles of the IAAF in the hosting of the Championship to Athletes & Officials. Make recommendations that would ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at major Championships… ”
The members of the committee are Ken Angwueje (chairman), Umar Bindir, Rotimi Obajimi, Ibrahim Galadima, Dare Esan, Mary Onyali and Falilat Ogunkoya. Maria Wophill is the secretary.