The all-conquering Nigerian team to the 12th Africa Junior Athletics Championships which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have returned to the country without the expected fanfare.
The Nigeria contingent to Addis Ababa arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport at about 3p.m. aboard an Ethiopian Airline.
A former athlete and also member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, board who was part of the Nigeria contingent to Addis Ababa, Falilat Ogunkoya, told PREMIUM TIMES on arrival that they were proud of the athletes’ performance even as she commended the youngsters for their hard work.
“It was fun, it’s good to be at the other side of the tracks cheering the athletes; they really worked hard right from the camp. I want to thank the leadership of the AFN, Chief Solomon Ogba, the Sports Minister who came to visit the athletes during the Valentine and that was a big boost for them and every other person that supported this course,”she said.
Ms. Ogunkoya applauded the athletes who she said were quite resolute in their pursuit for honours for their dear country.
”I must say, the athletes really worked hard and thank God their hard work really paid off, we really need to do more of this, we made them believe in themselves and they did believe in themselves and they made Nigeria proud after all,” she said.
Also Amusan Olawatobiloba, who won gold in the 100m hurdles event, said she was quite fulfilled finishing tops in her event and much more Nigeria finishing as the overall best country.
The Ijebu-ode, Ogun State based athlete said wining in Addis Ababa will translate to more work for her as she hopes to transit from the junior cadre to the senior level very soon.
“I am not going to relax because I won gold now, I want to work harder and see if I can make the All African Games team” Amusan told PREMIUM TIMES.
Nigeria retained her AJC title having finished top of the medals table with 12 gold, 8 silver and 7 bronze medals.