Tokyo 2020 Olympics Association chairman warns against fire-brigade approach to preparation

The chairman of Lagos State Karate Referees Association said most countries had started preparation after the Rio 2016 Olympics.

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Shadow of of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is seen on the logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games during the Olympic and Paralympic flag-raising ceremony at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo play A shadow of of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is seen on the logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games during the Olympic and Paralympic flag-raising ceremony at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2016. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files)
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Mac Brown, Chairman, Lagos State Karate Referees Association, on Friday said that for Nigeria to excel in the sport at Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan, there shouldn’t be fire-brigade approach to preparation.

Brown told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that most countries had started preparation after the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil following karate’s inclusion in the 2020 Games.

He said that there was need for early preparation in terms of organising and attending international competitions.

“To be sincere, if we do not stop our attitude of late preparation, we may go to Tokyo if we qualify and return without any medal again.

“I wish I could say that karate which was recently included as an Olympic sport is ready but we are not. My reason is that we hardly hold competitions.

“The ones we get are usually individually sponsored and what do you expect, there will be limited funds deterring athletes who should have started serious training,’’ he said.

Mac Brown, a former Head Coach, Lagos State Karate Association (LSKA), said young athletes who had strong background should be exposed to international meets.

“Young athletes who have prospects, who have strong background should be exposed ahead of Tokyo 2020 but they hardly even go for such international meets,’’ he said.

He also said that it would boost the athletes’ confidence if state associations and the federation could hold more tournaments.

“I believe that states should organise at least two to three competitions in a year, the Karate Federation of Nigeria should also hold two to three events with at least two international meets.

“If we can attend meets the have the best karatekas in Africa, it will go a long way in boosting the confidence of Nigerian athletes.

“They will even know areas where they need to work on before Tokyo 2020 Games,’’ Brown said.

NAN reports that karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and baseball/softball will be featured at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

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