Akinloye explains failure of tennis at 2015 African Games

image source Dribble

image source Dribble

National tennis coach, Rotimi Akinloye, has explained that the sport failed to do well at the just-concluded All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville because the players were ill-exposed.

Akinloye, who spoke on a television programme in Lagos yesterday, said his wards did well considering the exposure they had before the Games.

“We promised to give Nigeria two gold medals based on the calculation we did as regards the other countries we were competing with at the African Games. It is unfortunate that we didn’t win more than a silver medal in the men’s team and a gold medal in the ladies double.

“I think we had a terrible tournament; we played in eight quarterfinal matches but to the amazement of the whole team, we lost out in seven of them. Up till now, we cannot fathom why it happened that way.

“We had a very good team and the players all gave their best. I still believe we have a very bright future. How to launch our players in future events should be our concern now. We are happy with the current Director General of the National Sports Commission, a technical man, who has gone through the ranks.”

On the way forward for Nigerian tennis, Akinloye said: “One thing that is not going well for us is not lack of players, but a world class environment. This definitely will produce world-class athletes. If you don’t have a world-class environment, you will have a pocket of rebuffs.

“Tennis as a sport is capital intensive and very peculiar because you must have a chain that comprises trainers, managers, marketers and above all, having players playing in the professional events to have results. One thing I think we should do is to keep on encouraging our players. As we all know, the association relies on sponsors to be able to make an appreciable impact.”

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