We’re building Nigerian athletics from scratch, says AFN boss

• Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Targets
IAAF Gold Label
President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria
(AFN), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has declared
that his administration would have to re-
build the nation’s track and field from the
scratch because “we have lost athletics.” He
spoke on Thursday during a press
conference to herald the 2018 edition of
the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Gusau, who took over from Chief Solomon
Ogba, following his election during the
sports federations’ polls on June 13, said in
Lagos that he had already set machinery in
motion to rebuild athletics in the country.
“We know where Nigerian athletics used to
be, but we lost it,” he said. “Now, we are
doing everything possible to put it back.
Part of my acceptance speech, when I took
over was to go to the grassroots. And very
soon, Nigerians will see a brand new AFN
and best athletics the world will be proud
of,” Gusau stated.
The AFN boss praised Lagos State
government, sponsors and organisers of
the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon,
assuring that his administration would give
it the backing it need to become the best
road race in the world.
The chairman of Lagos State Sports
Commission, Deji Tinubu, who represented
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said the
state would continue to back the Access
Bank Lagos City Marathon. “This is one
event that has put Lagos on the world map
and we will continue to provide the
enabling environment for the marathon
Also speaking at the event, Chief Executive
Officer/Group Managing Director of Access
Bank plc, Herbert Wigwe disclosed that the
race billed for February 10, 2018 would be
bigger than last year’s edition. “I have been
told that over 100,000 runners will take
part in this year’s edition. I am happy the
Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been
given the IAAF Bronze Label, and our target
is to get the Gold Label as quickly as
possible. When we started two years ago,
people were asking what we intended to
get from this project, but today, I am happy
that the race is rated as one of the best in
the world,” Wigwe stated.
Project Consultant, Bukola Olopade as well
as General Manager of the marathon, Yusuf
Ali said that a 10km race, which has been
added to the event is opened to any
individual resided in Nigeria regardless of
their nationality.
“We approved the 10km race for next year
marathon, and this will bring more
excitement to the Access Bank Lagos City
Marathon,” Olopade stated. “We are very
grateful to GAC Motors for the two cars they
have donated for the winners of the men
and women’s 10km races.”
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