No more second fiddle for Team Nigeria – Yakmut

AS Nigerians continue to celebrate Team Nigeria’s sterling second placing at the end of African Games in Congo Brazzaville, Director General of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Alhassan Yakmut has vowed that Nigeria would no longer play the second fiddle in the continental fiesta.

Team Nigeria displaced South Africa in the second position with its last surge to finish with 47(Gold), 56(Silver) and 44(Bronze) medals behind Egypt’s 74(Gold), 56(Silver) and 63(Bronze) to signal that Nigeria is ready to take over the leadership of the Games.

‘’I’m overwhelmed that we finished strongly to place second behind Egypt. It is worth celebrating but we deserve to be number one in Africa’’, Yakmut who was appointed as DG less than three months to the Games to guide Team Nigeria to its glorious outing said.

‘’It’s a thing of joy to finish second after 18 years but we have the wherewithal to be number one in Africa. We’re not going to celebrate this feat and forget where we should be’’, Yakmut, a former Volleyball player who insisted on the welfare of athletes at the Games said.

‘’We now know the strengths of our opponents and we are going into those areas to weaken them and strengthen our medals prospects. It’s about planning. With the right motivation, our athletes have shown the vim and vitality to challenge their colleagues from other African countries. We won’t go to sleep.

This is the time for us to maintain the tempo. We’re not going to make the mistakes of waiting for the last minute before preparations. As I talk to you, we’re looking at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Our athletes are going to make the sacrifices and we’ll support them.

The Government has demonstrated its love and support for athletes who excel in Games in Congo. We’ll up the ante at the Olympic Games’’, Yakmut said on our hotline yesterday.

A breakdown of Team Nigeria’s medals showed that Athletics despite the withdrawal of Blessing Okagbare in her traditional 100 and 200m accounted for more medals recording 10Gold 9silver and 5bronze medals with Wrestling in the second position with 9Gold 5Silver and 4Bronze medals.

Weightlifting finished third with 8Gold 18Silver and 9Bronze medals while Powerlifting accounted for 8Gold 7Silver and 2Bronze medals.

Almighty football male and female accounted for the low points of Team Nigeria’s outing in Congo with the male team finishing with a bronze medal. 

Basketball also recorded sighs and hisses with 1Silver(Women) and 1Bronze for the men. Last minute entrants, Cycling, shocked officials with 1Gold 1silver and 1Bronze medals.

Tony Ubani

Vanguard News


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