By Onochie Anibeze reporting from London
Yusuf Ali was almost in tears for Blessing Okagbare Tuesday night, few minutes after she could not qualify for the final of the event that won her respect in Beijing Olympics where she won Bronze.
After a disappointing race in the 100m final, Nigerians hoped that Okagbare could pull off something good in the Long Jump. But the injury that affected her race in the 100m final was still hurting her badly and Ali, a great jumper in his time and one of the coaches here, described her performance as “painful.”
”I really felt for her and the country,” Ali said, adding “she could not even run, the leg was hurting her badly. I looked at her each time she made to jump and you could see her in pain.
It was bad. I commend her for even trying. Some other person could have withdrawn from the event but she was determined to do well. Unfortunately, injury did not allow her to do so. Oh, very painful, very painful indeed, no no no … I feel terrible.”
Nigeria’s performance in the ongoing Olympics has been awful. Only athletics presented athletes that reached the finals of their events.
Nigerian boxers were pummeled out, weightlifters wobbled out, table tennis players spun out with ease.
GET WELL ……Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi (middle) with Dr.Abdulkadir Mua’zu, (left) Leader, Nigeria Medical team at the Olympics, during a visit to Anthony Slim, the basketball player who sustained injury at the London Games. Photo: Sylva Eleanya in London.
Nigeria simply did not prepare well and they lack world class athletes due to the failure of the authorities to develop sports. They are reaping what they sowed.