Nigeria to re-organize sports sector after poor Olympics outing
Nigeria,Africa’s most populous nation, no doubt is one of the countries.
The Nigerian federal government has expressed its disappointment over the country’s failure to win medal at the just concluded London Olympics.
The London games turns out to be Nigeria worst outing in recent years.
At the 1998 Barcelona Games, Nigerian athletes won six medals- two gold, one silver and three bronze.
At the Sydney Games in 2000, Nigeria won one gold and two silver medals. In Athens 2004, Nigeria won two bronze medals while the 2008 Beijing Games recorded one silver and two bronze medals.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday ordered a total and comprehensive re-organization of the sporting sector.
The total overhaul may consume key actors in the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the ministry.p Also, the Nigerian leader has also directed that a Presidential Retreat be organized to discuss the future of Nigerian sports.
But Nigerians have been asking the government to respond on some questions bothering on situations sorrounding the woeful outing which gulped about 2.2 billion naira. They also want past sports heroes to be given a chance to proffer solutions to the dearth of sports development in the country.
Some said in serious-minded countries, officials facing a similar disgraceful situation would have resigned honorably.
President Jonathan was said to have viewed the London flop as the beginning of a new momentum to place Nigerian sports at a level that will enable this country return to the glory it is known for in the areas of sports.
Martins Osaile, a member of the Association of Veteran Sports Administrators Forum, said Nigerians should hold the Federal Government responsible for the poor outing.
Osaile advised the athletes to challenge their leaders and free themselves from their hold.
Former boxer and an Olympian, Jeremiah Okorodudu, said the boxers who represented Nigeria in London were not ready for the contest.
According to him, Nigeria was heading for a major failure when training tours are not properly handled before the Games.
Senator Uche Chukwumerije also called for sanctions against all the people responsible for the country’ s failure to win medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Chukwumerije, who was reacting to the failure of Team Nigeria to win medals at the Games, described what happened in London as a "national shame".
The Senator told reporters that the country must act to check the tradition of impunity in the country that whatever had happened should be forgotten.
A former Coach of the Super Eagles, Adegboye Onigbinde, said Nigeria does not deserve to win a medal at the London Olympic Games.
Onigbinde said the country did not prepare for the games, noting that winning a medal at the Olympics takes 12 years of adequate preparation and that the Team Nigeria’ s preparation was not enough to produce winners in a competition like the Olympics, where only the best compete.
The FIFA tactician added that he was not disappointed at the dismal showed of the Nigerian contingent to the Olympics.
Calling on the people in charge of sports in Nigeria to embrace modern standard in the preparation of athletes for competition, the CAF instructor said Nigeria must separate developmental program from competition.
Nigeria’ s hopes for medals were shouldered by the athletics team, where Blessing Okagbare was regarded as a match for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Carmelita Jeter of the US in the women’ s 100m.
But Okagbare finished the final in the 8th position, blaming her poor performance on injury despite competing till the end.
In the long jump, she had an equally bad performance, failing to qualify for the final after finishing in the 17th position. In the women’ s 4x100m relay race, Christy Udoh, Gloria Asumnu, Oludamola Osayomi and Okagbare did put up a fight but the 42.64 time recorded by them was only good as their season’ s best with Nigeria ending in the 4th position.
Ajoke Odumosu also raised the nation’ s hopes when she reached the 400m hurdles but she came last to end all medal expectations from the race.
The basketball team reached the Olympics for the first time with much expectation, especially after beating Greece and Lithuania, respectively ranked 4th and 5th in the world, during the qualifiers.
They even gladdened the nation’ s heart with a win over African champions, Tunisia, in their first match at the Olympics, but defeats by to Lithuania, Argentina, US and France ended first basketball participation at the Games with one win.
There was disappointment after the table tennis team was ousted a day after the opening ceremony but there were last minute hopes that later produced no medals for Nigeria.
Team Nigeria’ s Captain Chika Chukwumerije, who won a bronze at the last Olympic Games in Beijing, China was seen as a medal prospect in taekwondo because of the preparation he had before the Games. He did not begin his contest until a day before the closing ceremony, but in his only fight, he lost to Cuban opponent, Robelis Despaigne, in the men’ s+80kg class.
Sports, particularly, football is the singular unifying factor that cuts across all Nigerians. Nigerians from all walks of life are calling on the government scrutinize those who find their way into high offices of sports administration.
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