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Sports Minister Salutes Nigerian U-20 Athletes On Record Breaking Performance

Sports Minister Salutes Nigerian U-20 Athletes On Record Breaking Performance

Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare has hailed Nigerian athletes to the just ended World Athletics U20 Championships for their record breaking performance.

Nigeria won an unprecedented four gold and three bronze medals to finish third on the medals table and Dare says the athletes have returned Nigeria to global reckoning in track and field.

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“I want to specially congratulate the athletes and their coaches for achieving our best ever performance in the history of the Championships,” said the Sports Minister.

“These young athletes deserve our respect for representing Nigeria so very well. Congratulations to our young athletes on their record breaking performance at the World U20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. Through their excellent performances Nigeria earned a third place on the medals table out of 114 countries that participated. This third position places Nigeria on the world map of the world athletics and signposts a new trajectory for Athletics in Nigeria,” added Dare who promised the team will be kept together so that they can end up as Olympic medallists like their predecessors who also cut their teeth through this championships.

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“We will keep this team, and train them. We will design a programme for them and have them prepared for more victories. We have started building a new and younger generation of Nigerian Athletes. There is much hope.  We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support for sports developments in Nigeria.”

“This is truly a new beginning for sports in Nigeria. We started by rewriting our bad record at the Olympics since 2008 by not only winning two medals but also getting as many as five athletes in the finals of their events. It was a clear departure from what we had at the 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio De Janeiro) Olympics where we won just a medal and produced just two individual medallists in two Olympics.”

The Sports Minister further remarked:”At the World Athletics U20 level, the last time we won a gold medal was in 2008. For 13 long years we have struggled to win another gold. Now we have won not one but four, the most in one edition and have an unprecedented seven medals to make the Nairobi 2021 Championships truly our best ever performance.

“The duo of Imaobong Nse Uko (400m) and Udodi Onwuzurike (200m) won individual gold medals while the 4x400m mixed and the women’s relay teams also won our first ever relay gold medals at the Championships.”

Dare also revealed that Nigeria, for the first time in the history of the Championships was represented in all the relay events.

MEDAL TABLE

COUNTRY       G    S       B     Total              
Kenya         8    1       7      16

Finland       4    1       0      5

Nigeria       4    0       3     7

Ethiopia      3    7       2     12

Jamaica       3    6       2     11

S/Africa      3    2       4     9

Botswana      3    1       0     4

Sweden        3    0       0     3

France        2    4       2     8

Czech         2    0       1     3

Namibia       1    3       0     4

Belarus       1    1     3     5

Mexico        1    1       0     2

Turkey        1    1       0     2

Cuba          1     0      2     3

Israel        1     0      0     1

Lithuania     1     0      0     1

Serbia        1     0      0     1

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