- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 22:28
- Written by Elombah.com
Nigeria’s performance at London 2012 Olympics has been awful. The country would celebrate if a bronze medal comes their way. The Games end tomorrow. Their athletes fell here on a daily basis, but that is not the full story. Ajoke Odumosu represented Nigeria in the London Olympics and qualified for the final. Odumosu was one athlete
who had to borrow money to prepare for the Olympics. Nigeria, her country, could not help her when she needed help most.
She ran the 400m Hurdles and after setting national record, but placed last in the final. She left the stadium, with her head high, saying that running in the final of an Olympic event was a no mean achievement.
”I know the investment that I made to get to where I was before that final. I’m still shocked at the way the injury came. In seconds, everything I worked for is gone. But you know that it happens in sports. I’m really disappointed but I’ll move on. I believe in the supremacy of God and I know that I’ll be fine”.
Blessing Okagbare has sent some words to Nigerians: ”I’m sorry I couldn’t win any medal here. I worked so hard, spent resources to prepare well only to be frustrated by injury. I knew what the expectations were and I really wanted to live up to them. But here I am. I’m sorry.”
But like Odumosu, Okagbare said she invested her own resources too.
The sprinter who won bronze in the Long Jump event of the Beijing Olympics could not qualify for the final of same event here. Before then, she had reached the final of the 100m event winning in all her heats but placing last with a time of 11.01 after posting two personal best times running 10.93 seconds and 10.92 in the first heat and the semifinal respectively.
When it mattered most Blessing ran in pain as she had scooped injury. ”I have pains. It’s a cramp,” she said as she left the stadium after the final.
Many sports buffs had expressed fear that the pressure on Blessing might make her crack at the London Games. The whole country relied on her for a possible gold medal.
Sorts minister Bolaji Abdullahi admitted so in the press conference he held here Thursday to say the same thing his predecessors always said at the end of each Games. ”Preparation for the next Games will start immediately,” the minister told about 50 journalists here.
But the poise to start early preparation dies shortly after such statements. Abdullahi said his would be different. But practical experience in Nigeria shows that reforming sports in the country goes beyond the sports ministry. There might not be any headway if the federal government would not reform the sports ministry itself and if the state governors do not play their role.
Team Nigeria have not won any medal mes in the games so far.
Nigeria narrowly missed out on what would have been their first medal today as the United States clocked 40.82 seconds to win the gold medal and set a new world record in women's 4 x 100 metres relay.
Nigeria's team qualified for the final of the event held took the 4th position on Friday evening.
It was not an easy feat for the team of Christy Udoh, Gloria Asumnu, Oludamola Osayomi and Blessing Okagbare who ran at 42.64 secs.
The team, running in lane two of the finals, placed fifth behind the U.S, Jamaica at 41. 41 secs and Ukraine at 42.04 secs.
Blessing Okagbare anchored the Nigerian team, she too spent her own resources to be at the Olympic.
Meanwhile in the women’s 4x400m relay, Nigeria team battled their way into the Olympic final, but they will have to improve if they are to have a chance of a medal.
Though the team finished fourth in their heat won by Jamaica, their time of 3:26.29secs was still enough to see them through as one of the best losers from the two heats.
The time returned by the Nigerian quartet anchored by Regina George was their season’s best.
Britain spent £1.8billion from their lottery fund to train her athletes and improve local sporting facilities over the past four years and since the Beijing Olympics. The UK National Lottery has funded over 1,200 athletes to train to the highest international standard. Lottery money is also used to encourage people all over the UK to participate in sport and keep active by providing excellent facilities and coaching. They have thus achieved their largest Olympic haul since 1908.
According to the Daily Telegraph, a total of 483 lottery-funded sportsmen and women have won Olympic and Paralympic medals since 1997, with £2.2 billion being contributed both to the sporting and cultural elements of the event.
UK National Lottery funding has enabled talented athletes to pursue their training and qualify for major events, as such physical fine-tuning and fitness maintenance is a full-time occupation.
If Nigeria wishes to experience such success, they must be willing to invest in their athletes, if corruption will agree.