The Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has suggested the country worked hard enough to have won more medals at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
He, however, said he was happy with the solitary bronze and silver medals won by Team Nigeria at the 32nd Olympiad.
Ese Brume in the Long Jump event and wrestler Blessing Oburududu saved Nigeria’s blushes and for Mr Dare, these performances affirm Nigeria can indeed compete at the highest levels across the full range of events.
“Yes, we had wished and worked for more medals. But we must also put things in perspective. The medal outcome at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stands as Nigeria’s best result in the last 13 years,” the Minister said in an official statement issued on Monday.
Though the medals may not have come as expected, the Minister says he remains upbeat going by the string of commendable performances by a good number of the athletes.
“Moreover, the athletes of Team Nigeria did their nation proud. Many of them reached the finals of their respective sports and, competing with all they had, were in contention for medals until the final moment.
“Anyone who saw their efforts would have nothing but the utmost respect for them, their coaches, and all the technical staff that made Tokyo possible,” the minister added.
Overall, Nigeria had five Olympic finalists in the 100 meters Hurdles Women, Shot Put, Long jump, Wrestling, and 100 meters men.
Team Nigeria produced a finalist in the 100m men’s event for the first time in 25 years and secured a medal in wrestling for the very first time.
At the end of the Games, which came to a close last Sunday, Nigeria placed 74th on the final Olympic medal table among 205 participating countries.
The country also finished eighth among the 52 African countries that participated in Tokyo.
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