Elias Gora, a retired sports administrator says gro-oming young athletes is necessary for the country to regain its top position in sports in the comity of nations.
Gora, a former Secretary General, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) said this when he spoke with newsmen in Lagos, yesterday.
“Often time sports administrators tend to ignore the aspect of grooming athletes. We have said it times without number, deliberate thoughts and action need to be taken.
“Since the likes of Blessing Okagbare, tell me one athlete that is as formidable as she was when she was younger, this is what happens when we fail to train, dearth of professional athletes.
“Before Coronavirus came, check our performances in London and Rio de Janeiro, we honestly can’t keep hoping on God for miracles without putting in the hard work.
“Now with the pandemic, I honestly don’t know what to expect in 2021 Tokyo; it is only the wrestling federation and taekwondo that I hear of their training programmes, that have been consistent,” he said.
Gora, who was Nigeria’s Chef de’ Mission at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games said that the best outing the country ever had at the Olympics was in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.
“Till tomorrow our best performance was during the Atlanta Games and Sydney, since then what have we got to show for our participation at the Olympics.
“Look at Canada and Australia, when their performance wasn’t at Par with their expectations; they went back to the drawing board and decided to focus on some sports; one of it is swimming and till tomorrow they rake in medals for their country in this events,’’ Gora said.
He said that sentiments and nepotism should be put aside in order to get out the best in terms of selection of athletes and coaches for the country.
“As long as we keep looking beyond, tribe, religion and what have you, I believe a lot will fall into place.
“Sport administrators should always bare it in mind that at the end of the day, result is all that matters,’’ he said.
Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach
National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.
Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach
Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers
Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.
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