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Team Nigeria Returns From World Championships Without Medal For 11th Time!

Team Nigeria Returns From World Championships Without Medal For 11th Time!

For the 11th time in 19 editions, Team Nigeria is returning home from the World Athletics Championships without a medal after the country’s contingent failed to make it to the podium in Budapest, Hungary.

The team’s medals hopes were pinned to the shoulders of long jumper, Ese Brume and sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan.

Brume brought Nigeria back to the podium in 2019 with a bronze medal after two medalless editions (2015 and 2017) and she helped in getting Nigeria twice to the podium three years later in Oregon, USA where she upgraded her bronze medal win in 2019 to silver.

Amusan joined the party in Oregon after placing fourth in 2019 but her appearance at the World Athletics Championships podium was historic.
She first made history as the first Nigerian to set a world outdoor record when she ran 12.12 seconds in the semifinals of the 100m hurdles event in Oregon.

The then 25-year-old followed up with a first-ever gold medal by a Nigerian at World Athletics’ flagship event.
However, following the inability of the duo to get to the podium, the team, led by Tonobok Okowa, president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, turned prayer warriors, seeking a miracle for the relay teams.

Wishes failed to become horses and team Nigeria’s horses could not ride as the men’s and women’s 4x100m failed to make it to the final with the women’s team even dropping the baton.

All hopes were now placed on the women’s 4x400m team to make it to Sunday’s final where winning a medal would be the focus.

Two of the athletes who qualified the team for the Championships were turned to ‘used and dumped’ because the AFN failed to include them in the registered pool of athletes to be tested for three out-of-competition tests which was a pre-condition for any Nigerian athlete to fulfil before they can compete in any major international competitions and Games.

Obviously being an impartial God that rewards hard work and proper planning and not indiscipline and planlessness, the Nigerian 4x400m team, an obvious victim of an unruly federation failed to make it to the final.

Overall, Team Nigeria had only two athletes in the final which makes this edition one of the worst in terms of performance.

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Team Nigeria started on the wrong foot when the mixed relay team, a finalist at the last edition, failed to make it to the final, placing seventh (3:14.38) in the second semifinal. Then followed Shot Putter, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi who, for the first time in three editions, failed to make it to the final, finishing 13th in the final classification.

The women’s Discus throw trio of Chioma Onyekwere, Ashley Anumba and Obiageri Pamela Amaechi failed to extend their historic participation (the first time Nigeria has three throwers in the same event) to at least a spot at the podium.

Onyekwere, the Commonwealth Games champion finished 21st (58.58m), Anumba, the 2022 National Sports Festival queen 25th (57.77m) and Amaechi (51.60m) finished 37th, the last spot in the overall classification.

In the 400m, Imaobong Nse Uko and Dubem Nwachkwu failed to race beyond the first round in the women’s and men’s races while Ezekiel Nathaniel’s bid to become the second Nigerian after Henry Amike (1987) to make the final of the 400m hurdles ended at the semifinal stage.

While the duo of Ushoritse Itshekiri and Seye Ogunlewe failed to make it to the final in the 100m, Favour Ashe was disqualified in the first round for a false start.

In the women’s version, Rosemary Chukwuma failed to advance to the final, exiting at the semifinal stage.
Alaba Akintola and Favour Ofili did not advance beyond the semifinal while only the duo of Brume and Amusan made it to the final.

Nigeria first failed to make the podium in 1991 in Tokyo, Japan and repeated the same feat two years later in Stuttgart, Germany.
Sunday Bada, now late, anchored Nigeria’s 4x400m relay team to a bronze medal finish in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden and Davidson Ezinwa followed suit two years later in Athens, Greece where he led the 4x100m team to an African record and a silver medal.

The duo of Glory Alozie and Francis Obikwelu returned Team Nigeria to individual podium finishes in Seville, Spain in 1999, 12 years after Innocent Egbunike won Nigeria’s second individual medal at the Championships (after Ajayi Agbebaku won a triple jump bronze in 1983). Alozie won a silver medal in the 100m hurdles while Obikwelu settled for bronze after raising hopes of a first-ever gold medal in the 200m with his 19.84 run in the semifinal.

Then followed six editions without a medal, from 2001 in Edmonton, Canada to 2011 in Daegu, South Korea before Blessing Okagbare popped up with two individual medals in Moscow, Russia in 2013.

As the AFN has always done, it failed to build on the success of 2013 and ended the next two editions without a podium finish. Brume turned the saviour in 2019 to return Nigeria to the podium before she combined with Amusan for another podium finish in Oregon.

By Dare Esan

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  • Ako Amadi 9 months ago

    Pathologically corrupt nations hardly win medals in global sports Besides, many Nigerian politicians, industrialists, pastors and imams never did any sports

  • Field Marshall. General. Sir Johnbob 9 months ago

    A cursed country infected by it’s own population of greedy, lazy, depraved dregs of humanity with nothing at all of any good left in them – Oh what a sad shame to see what Nigeria has become because of it’s immoral, evil and wicked people!

    It is a great advantage and benefit that Baba God our creator has made a promise to us never to destroy the Earth again – But it would have been a great help if it were possible to isolate that desolate place called Nigeria – (devoid of any hope or even the slightest glimmer of the possibility of hope for a better future for generations) and wipe it out, as this unfortunately is the only viable option if we truly want a healing and re set – to try and build that once great nation again!

    Haa! Nigeria- our motherland…O Mase O!

    • Chuma 9 months ago

      This is what happens when people who know nothing about the positions they occupy find themselves in such positions through dubious means.
      There has to be a revolution in Nigeria before we get things done properly in Nigeria.

  • I was telling myself that was not how CS used to report stories until I saw it was authored by the legendary Dare Esan. From a point of pain and extreme disappointment. Would we even learn?

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