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Mixed fortunes for Nigeria’s bobsled team at Winter Olympics

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Nigeria’s Moriam Seun Adigun (R) and Akuoma Omeoga wave after the women’s bobsleigh heat 2 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

The Nigerian Bobsled team made one giant stride yesterday at the on-going Pyeonchang 2018 Winter Olympics when it recorded a personal best time of 52.21 in their appearance, though it finished in 20th position.

It sparked a wide celebration in Team Nigeria’s camp following a declaration by officials of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria (BSFN) that the 52.21 recorded by the duo of Seun Adigun and Akuoma Omeoga in their first heat was remarkable in many ways.

“Yes, it calls for a celebration,” the Communications Director of BSFN, Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke told The Guardian from South Korea shortly after the race yesterday. “All other competitors on the track had been participating in bobsled event for the past five to seven years, and our athletes are less than a year in the game.

“Besides, the sled our athletes used were not the sophisticated type compared to the one used by other competitors. Tomorrow (today), they will hit the track for their final appearance, and our message to them is to make sure they don’t crash. If they can finish the race the way they did today (yesterday), we will be very happy,” Mbonu-Ezeoke stated.

In their first heat yesterday at the Sliding Center in Pyeonchang, Nigeria’s two-woman bobsled team finished 20th position in a race won by United States of America duo of Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauran Gibbs in 50.52. Team Germany (Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Bukwitz) was second in 50.54.

In their second heat yesterday, the Nigerian team also finished 20th in 52.55, which was slower than their first race. Germany duo of Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Bukwitz won the race in 50.72, relegating USA duo of Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauran Gibbs to the second position in 50.81.


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