Sydney 2000 Olympics 4×400metres relay gold medalist, Enefiok Udo-Obong says he is not impressed by Nigeria’s athletics team’s performance at the just concluded Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The former sprinter is unhappy that the country’s customary dominance in track and field is fast declining in South Africa now the toast of the continent in the short distance races.
In an exclusive chat with hotsportstv.com, Udo- Obong lamented a situation where the country could only win a gold in the women’s 100metres hurdles as against the last time she came away with both the 100metres and 200metres gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow four years earlier.
“My opinion about our athletics team’s performance at the Commonwealth Games is that they performed below expectations if the high standards we have been known for in previous Games is the yardstick,” Udo- Obong said.
“It is a pity that the only gold we took home in the sprints proper came through an Oluwatobilola Amusan, an athlete not considered good enough for the All- Africa Games just three years ago by those who run athletics in this country. I remember Amusan, then a home-based athlete being relegated to the background in place of some mercenaries of Nigerian origin the AFN chose to invite from America because they wanted quick fixes rather than developing world beaters from the cradle,” he blasted.
“But, see what has now happened. The same Amusan was the one who got us the women’s 100metres hurdles gold barely four years after she started schooling abroad. So, her story tells us that the talent is always available here.And that all we need to do is to put on our thinking caps, roll up our sleeves and develop the next generation of athletes that would continue to represent the country.,” he added.
Team Nigeria’s athletics team had ended their sojourn to the Gold Coast, finishing with three medals consisting of a gold in the women’s 100metres hurdles, silver in the women’s 4×400netres relays and bronze in the women’s 4×100metres relays. American- based, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi had been the only man to win a field event when he grabbed silver in short put.
Nigeria had also won a gold in the men’s 100metres dash, but it came from Suwaibiidu Galadima in the para- athletics category.