A Lagos-based athletics coach, Isaac Ikaobomeh, on Wednesday urged the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to groom home-based athletes to represent the country in international competitions.
Ikhaobomeh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the country had budding talents that could compete creditably at major competitions if adequately nurtured.
The coach spoke against the backdrop of the performance of foreign-based athletes that represented the country at the Rio 2016 Games in Brazil.
Some of the athletes are Gloria Asumnu, Antwon Hicks, Olivia Ekpone and Stephen Mozia.
The country failed to win a medal in the track and field events of the Olympics.
He added that the AFN should parade more home-based athletes in world championships to boost their confidence rather than parading foreign-based athletes.
“I’m not against using foreign-based athletes for competitions but when we over do that it will be at the detriment of our local athletes.
“The money spent on these foreign athletes can be used to develop our athletes locally and give them exposure at international fora.
“The likes of Falilat Ogunkoya, Yusuf Alli and Blessing Okagbare were all discovered at home and they have represented the country well.
“We still have abundant talents in the country that can do us proud if they are properly monitored,’’ he said.
The coach urged stakeholders to contribute to the growth of the athletics in the country. (NAN)