Sport  |  Athletics  

Nigeria’s chances of success at Tokyo 2020 Olympics in danger, says Tobias Igwe

By Gowon Akpodonor |   28 August 2018   |   3:00 am  

Nigerian athletics coach, Tobias Igwe

Renowned Nigerian athletics coach, Tobias Igwe has predicted that Team Nigeria may just make up the numbers at the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan, saying the country is not preparing for any medal at the event held every four years.

Nigeria’s participation at the last Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil was a disaster, as the country managed to pick only a bronze medal in the soccer event.

Toblow, as he is fondly called by his admirers, believes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics might be another failed mission for Nigeria unless urgent steps are taken to arrest the situation.

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He is particular about the poor state of the nation’s athletics, which used to be Nigeria’s medals hope at the Olympics.

“At the moment, Nigeria can’t boast one area in athletics that can give us a medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” Toblow told The Guardian.

“And I am highly worried because those supposed to make the necessary changes seem to be sleeping.

“The women 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams are more likely to be within the medal zone, but that cannot translate into a medal unless we do the needful.

For the 4×100 team to get a medal, each of the athletes must run 10.08 seconds or at least 11.00 seconds. With good baton exchange, maybe, a medal can come our way.

“And for us to get a medal in the 4×400 relay, each member in the women’s relay team should be able to run 49.03 seconds or at least, 50.00 seconds.

At the moment, majority of our athletes still run 51.08 and 52.06 seconds.

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It can’t fetch us a medal. Tobi Amusan is our major hope in the women’s 100m hurdles. She can make a medal in Tokyo if she can run 12.03 seconds consistently.

Ese Brume couldn’t get a medal at Rio 2016, and to get a medal at Tokyo 2020 means that Brume must increase her speed to at least 11.00 seconds in the 100m.

She needs the speed to be able to jump seven meters, which is the only thing that can guarantee her a medal at the Olympics.”

Coach Toblow, who discovered the likes of Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, Tina Iheagwam, the Ezinwa brothers (Davidson and Osmond), Clement Chukwu and Charity Opara, linked the free fall of Nigerian athletics to what he described as big neglect of indigenous coaches by the sports ministry.

“They brought some American coaches and placed them on $12,000 and $10,000 monthly salaries. Where are the American coaches now?

I have not received a monthly salary for seven years now, but I believe I am a better tactician than those American coaches when it comes to track and field,”
Toblow stated.

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