Top track and field athletes in the country have hailed the return of sports in the country after the Presidential Task Force announced the return of noncontact sports in Nigeria over the weekend.
Some of the athletes who spoke with New Telegraph said they are happy that they will be returning to participate in what they love best. Sprinter Enock Adegoke, one of the top 100m runner in the country said it was long coming. “I am happy that sport has return,” he said.
“This will give us better opportunity to start training better as we look forward to any upcoming competition.
“At the moment, I am not sure of any competitions because we have been at home for too long, we are just hoping that the National Sports Festival will take place soon. “I just want to appeal to the government to allow for the festival to take place very soon because that was what we were preparing for before the lockdown.”
On her own part, quarter-miler, Patience Okon-George, said she was over the moon when she heard the announcement. According to her, despite training since, there is nothing like taking part in competitions. She added: “Some of us are surviving on this sport and for us not to do anything since March, it’s difficult.
“Now that sports has returned, we are hopeful of some competitions coming up. “Track and Field is our business and we have to be taking part in competitions to survive.
“It is not possible for most of us to be part of the coming Diamond League in Europe because most of us are not ready for such event.”
Meanwhile, a stakeholder in the industry who crave anonymity said it was disappointing that the country decided to shut all sports due to the Pandemic.
“I am not saying they should allow sports to be on at the peak of the pandemic, but atleast they should have allowed the athletes to be training.
“The whole world will not wait for them and now while others in the other part of the world have started competing, our own will now start to train because the stadium were closed. “Have they (the officials) not going to their offices?
They should have allow these athletes to be training ahead of the opening. “Hopefully, they will be able to compete very soon,” the stakeholder said.