A former Director of Grassroots Sports in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr Ademola Are, has said that the importance of the positive sides of Team Nigeria’s participation at the just-ended Tokyo Olympics would manifest in the near future.
Are noted that there were many areas where the Nigerian team failed to win medals but made huge impact which could facilitate medal winning at future global Games and future Olympics.
He noted that it was important for Nigerians to recognise the magnitude of the Olympic Games before people give harsh judgment on the Nigerian team.
“Over 200 countries took part in the Games and we should realise that some of these countries have invested in their facilities and athletes multiple times. They also have edge technically and exposure.
“The efforts of the sports ministry were evident in Tokyo. We had our sprinter in the final of the 100m for the first time in over 20 years and we made an impact in wrestling, we were in the final of the Shot Put event while we maintained strong presence in hurdles and long jump.
“In future, our athletes will be capitalizing on these to do better and that is a success story we should appreciate,” he said.
Are lauded the Minister of Sports, Chief Sunday Dare for his foresight and determination to get Team Nigeria on track for good results.
“The positive results of the Minister’s efforts will manifest in no distant future. Those running their mouths should compare Nigeria’s placements in sports with other government Ministries and Department Agencies (MDAS) in the world rankings despite all the challenges.
“As a former athlete, I know how it feels, but our investments will bring great reward in the near future. The future of Nigerian sports is very bright,” Are added.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has commended the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare on Nigeria’s outing at the just-ended Tokyo Olympics.
“The Nigeria contingent may not have returned with the harvest of medals that many hoped for, but there are bright lights all around and some brilliant individual performances that give hope for the next Games in Paris. At the end of the day, the silver and bronze medals earned in Tokyo make the just-ended Olympics Nigeria’s best outing in 13 years. That is commendable.
“The Sports Minister, in his personal capacity, and the Ministry of Sports as a body worked their socks off. The Honourable Minister was exemplary; he explained, encouraged and empathised with the athletes as necessary and led the cheer at most of the venues where Nigerian athletes competed.
“We do not wish to recall his inglorious remarks against the football team when the team was camping in the USA. That football team eventually ended up winning Team Nigeria’s only medal – a bronze – at the Games.
”Pinnick was particularly delighted at the performance of multi-talented Ese Brume, who won the women’s long jump bronze. “I am happy for Ese (Brume) because I played a role in her discovery and nurturing. I am satisfied with her career progression and I believe she will be there in Paris in three years’ time to win the gold medal. “I also pledge that our football teams will return to the Games in three years’ time in Paris and compete favourably for the gold medals,” he said. .