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Birmingham 2022: Male athletes’ abysmal outing worrisome – Adelabu

By Gowon Akpodonor
14 August 2022   |   3:30 am
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has described as ‘worrisome’ the poor performance of the country’s male athletes at the recent international events, particularly the just-concluded Commonwealth...

Birmingham of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Photo/ OLI SCARFF AFP<br />

Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has described as ‘worrisome’ the poor performance of the country’s male athletes at the recent international events, particularly the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Team Nigeria won 12 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, with all the 12 gold coming from the female athletes.

Adelabu, who played club football with the then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, told The Guardian yesterday that the poor outing by the men should be scientifically investigated through a multidisciplinary approach.

“I think one of the factors may not be unconnected with the unprofessional ways our athletes were subjected to in previous competitions. It has to be taken seriously because sports participation is an industry that has an inherent capacity to accommodate our jobless youths,” he said.

Adelabu, a sports scientist, further stated that the sports ministry should not be reduced to a place where officials just collect salaries and wait for athletes to come together and take part in competitions without any adequate plans for their future.

“There will always be athletes to represent the country, but that is not enough. They must be able to see their future in what they are doing and not just represent the nation at the risk of their own future.

“My advice to our men is to get their priorities right. Apart from the fact that we don’t really cultivate developing scientific protocols to train our athletes, the athletes themselves should be careful with their life styles. To stay longer in any sports, you need a high level of discipline both morally and technically. Athletes must learn to look after themselves.”

He continues: “I was watching a football practice session and the players on the bench were busy playing with their phones. I was forced to tell one of them to put the phone away and watch the game in order to follow the corrections made by the coach. He kept it away reluctantly. Our athletes must be ready to listen to corrections. Our male athletes should put up more efforts and be more serious with their training.”