Team Nigeria has lost its number one position on the medals table to South Africa and Kenya at the 2019 African U-18/U-20 Athletics Championship, which ends today in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Nigerian athletes rose above the hardship they faced en route the competition by topping the medals table on day three, but they fell to the third spot yesterday.
After capturing 7 gold medals, including five in the sprint events to top the medals table on Day three, the Nigerians were overpowered by South Africa and Kenya when attention shifted to the decathlon, long jump and hurdles events. The Nigerians settled for three bronze medals in those events.
But as at the time of this report yesterday, Team Nigeria was still hopeful of overpowering South Africa and Kenya on the medals table.
Furthermore, In the 200m final for male, Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke was expected to capture the gold medal last night to add to the 100m gold he won earlier. In the female category, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma was expected to pick the 200m gold, just as Favour Ofili, who won the U-18 girls 400m earlier, was also expected to pick the 200m gold. She has the fastest time in the competition.
Meanwhile, Nigerian athletes seem not bothered over the inability of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to pay them allowances at the competition.
A source in the Nigerian camp told The Guardian yesterday that so far, the athletes seem upbeat over the poor situation in their camp saying: Maybe because they are having free food from the organisers. And for a majority of the athletes, this is their first international competition. They see it as an adventure.
The Guardian recalls that Team Nigeria spent three days on the journey to Abidjan, and arrived a few hours to commencement of events. The athletes left Ijebu Ode for Abidjan without a single kobo to eat on their way following inability of the sports ministry to fund the trip.
Posted by Jeff