Samuel Onikeku, Technical Director, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has expressed optimism that Nigeria individual athletes will win gold medals at the upcoming 2023 African games in Accra, Ghana.
The 2023 African games will be held in Accra, Ghana from March 8 to 24, 2024.
Onikeku on Thursday in Abuja said the federation would ensure that the country`s performance surpasses that of the last African games.
“Nigeria competed at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco with a total of 308 athletes representing Nigeria at the games.
“The Athletes won 46 gold medals, 33 silver medals and 48 bronze medals and the country finished second in the medal table.
“We want to use the African games preparation for the preparation of the 2024 World Relay Races (WRE) that will be held in Nassau, Bahama on May 4 to 5, 2024.
“The Program for the Bahamian capital comprised five relay disciplines- men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x 400m, plus the mixed 4x400m and 32 teams, “he said.
Onikeku said that the federation would ensure that the Athletes win medals in athletics at the Olympics.
He said that since Chioma Ajunwa- Opara, Nigeria`s former track and field athlete won gold at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, no Nigerian has done it again.
“She is also the first black African woman to have won an Olympic gold medal in a field event. We have not been able to win a gold medal.
“ The Former Nigeria sprinter, Enefiok Udo-Obong in the 4x400m relay team won silver in Sydney 21 years ago, which has since been upgraded to gold, had their moment of glory stolen by the U.S,” he said.
The games will be decentralized, as three cities in the country will host the event. They are Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast.