Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Athletics: Breaking national record would still fetch you no winning bonus!

Obisesan, the winner, applauded by Minister. Where is her winning bonus?
*Where is Minister's cash bonus for national record breaker?
By Olalekan Soetan
I am sure that majority of the entire public and the Hon. Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, who in my opinion has made some re-structuring to allow room for progress in our sporting federations, was not told that most of those athletes that put up the show at the Ilorin Golden League athletes laboured almost in vein, except for their personal gains of seasonal bests, personal bests and greatest of all setting of new National record that may not be ratified due to "usual" negligence on the part of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria's Technical crew!
AFN came up with a new agenda on how to raise the performance of Nigerian athletes, so they introduced standards before an athlete can gain the usual winning bonus when major competitions are staged to develop athletes and warm up to national trials.
They came up with 1,050 points on IAAF scoring tables, which in my opinion, when viewed on the level of development of current athletes, is outrageous and necessary!
Athletes prepared for the season, hoping the meagre winning bonus would be improved upon, but were surprised after competing in the 1st Golden League at Sagamu (Ogun State) that athletes regardless of your position in their events, they must achieve a performance of 1,050points before kobo can be received as winning bonus!
The implication is, events like 100m, a performance of 10.47s and 11.79s would be required to get paid, which in my opinion is not outrageous, but unnecessary.
In the early season, top athletes like Usain Bolt, the current world record holder and Olympic champion can start season with a 10.2s. And if you compare his personal efforts of 9.5s with 10.2s, there is wide margin between the two, yet he gets paid appearance fees in the tune of thousands of dollars plus he must have been offered accommodation, full lodging, and winning bonus. He would be paid regardless of how bad the performance was, and more if he breaks records etc.
Nigeria's national record is 9.84s and averagely, a sprinter runs 10.6s locally, then towards national championships, they improve to 10.3s, usually, the national sports festival current champions made it to the finals in the proceeding years after the games. And the best, most athletes always put up to make finals is between 10.2s and 10.5s.
Statistically, the last national sports festival was won with a 10.50s, meaning majority of the sprinters ran poorer than expected.
Yet, the standard was raised and maybe the champion just got paid winning bonus in 100m when he ran 10.30s, new personal best!
In windy races, sprinters tend to run faster or slower than usual, depending on the wind direction. So a 10.4s sprinter on a good day can run faster with a wind in his favour or poorer in wind against.
And events longer than 200m are not always affected by wind, though, the final straight can be advantaged when wind for and otherwise if wind against!
Most times, only events from 200m to straight races and jumps are affected, also, throwing events.
In adverse situation, event best efforts might lead to sub-standard results etc. But more importantly, 100m is our best event for men and 400m for women with 49.10s.
Many events when the 1,050points scale was applied, performance these athletes have to put up is as high as the existing national record, some, especially throws and running events above 1,500m, breaking national record would still fetch you no winning bonus!
So sadly, the hammer women would have to break and re-break the yet to be ratified national record to get paid their deserved winning bonus! So they should be aiming at 67.30m...You should get my points now...
These caricature leagues are not up to standard in itself! Even the hammer safety net was not available to prevent serious injuries worst death! No ambulance if serious injuries, common fist aid can not even attend to a top sprinter that cramped during the men 100m final!
Never must the long jump or triple jump be competed without  take-off board, even in earliest games...yet the national record holder is the performance manager if naturally the misfit Technical Director doesn't know.
Plus the imposed Athletes' Representative, Chief Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, who is the 400m national record African holder was there to witness poor welfare imposed on athletes.
I wonder who made a selfish ex-athlete a representative. Athletes have me as their Athletes' Representative, and while performing my duty of presenting their predicament, I was unjustly and unfairly slammed three years suspension.
 Unprecedented in the history our sport world wide when an athlete did not fail doping test! And the slavery goes on and the slave masters in AFN takes glory when records are set, even when they never saw it coming...so the latest record might have been lost.
And coach to the lady is now in Saudi Arabia preparing their athletes against ours...and the runner up lady's being trained by fellow athlete, my friend. And coaches who are in camp can't boast of athletes they train currently.
At least, I have two athletes in camp, one the leader in high jump at all levels

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