Seigha Porbeni, a Nigerian athlete who has achieved a lot in his career, is concerned about the current situation in Nigeria. According to Porbeni, due to the government's plans to turn Nigeria into a marathon-organizing nation, a significant number of track and field athletes from Nigeria are facing the danger of medical issues.
“The truth is that we are only exposing our athletes to health problems because the marathon and half marathon races these days are too close to one another,” he told The Guardian.
Seigha Porbeni is disappointed
Porbeni believes that the money given for these purposes can be redirected to much more important things.
Porbeni is disappointed because he believes that the goal of everything is to prepare athletes from other countries for major competitions. “We have to keep talking about it. The huge sponsorship monies being wasted on marathon races in Nigeria could be channeled to the athletes in various zones in the country in building up towards a mega final just like the Diamond League.
I call it waste because marathon races are not Nigeria’s area of strength. The organisers of marathon races in Nigeria are only providing the funds for the Kenyans, Ethiopians and Ugandans to prepare themselves for major championships like the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and African Games, whereas, our area of strength (short sprints) are neglected.
When this fraud in marathon sponsorship started, I raised an alarm. The man behind this madness (name withheld) has never forgotten my confrontation.He fought me by using New York marathon in the U.S. that has never been won by any American as an example.
He has forgotten that America has put in place a system that takes care of other sporting events, including the sprints. I even went further to suggest to him that the sponsorship could be directed towards the area of our strength, the sprints, jumps and hurdles."