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Stop celebrating silver medals at Commonwealth Games, Ebewele tells sports minister

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Brown Ebewele

Team Nigeria appeared on the medals’ table yesterday at the on-going Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, after picking two silver medals in the shot put and table tennis team event.

While Chukwuebuka Enekwechi threw 21.14m, (a personal best) to grab silver in the men’s shot put event, Nigeria’s men’s table tennis team was edged out by India in the final yesterday.

The Nigerians settled for a silver medal after Sharath Achanta beat Bode Abiodun 3-1 in the first game despite Abiodun winning the first set 11-4.

 
Veteran table tennis player, Segun Toriola also took the first set 12-10, but lost his way in the next three sets, 11-3, 11-3, and 11-4.
 
The doubles team of Olajide Omotayo and Abiodun could not stop the onslaught of Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who beat Team Nigeria 11-8, 11-5, and 11-3. India took the gold, while Nigeria settled for the silver medal.

One event that did not go down well with some Nigerians yesterday was the men’s 100m final, where sprinter, Seye Ogunlewe lost the bronze medal to Jamaican Yohan Blake despite the duo clocking the same time of 10.19s.

Two South Africans, Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies were faster, picking the gold and silver medals. Some Nigerians who watched the race had started celebrating thinking that Ogunlewe grabbed the bronze, but the Jamaican (Blake), picked it based on his reaction time of 0.139 ahead of Ogunlewe’s 0.143.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, a board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele said that is was a big shame that Nigerians, particularly sports ministry officials could be celebrating silver medals at the Commonwealth Games.

“Someone should tell the sports minister and his crew to spot celebrating a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Nigeria used to break records at the Commonwealth Games.

At Victoria, Canada ’94, our women sprinters won the gold, silver and bronze medals in the 100m and went on to break records in the 4x100m relay. We also won the triple jump gold medal.

It is a big shame that the sports ministry is now celebrating silver medals so many years after. You can see that we are moving backward instead of going forward. Ebewele stated.


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