Weightlifting federation boss laments as head coach ‘disappears’ at Commonwealth Games
The President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, Mohammed Yahaya has described as ‘big embarrassment’ the alleged disappearance of its head coach in the Gold Coast, Australia, venue of the just concluded 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The coach (names withheld) was said to have followed the way of some Africans, especially athletes from Cameroun, who chose to escape in Australia even before the end of the Games.
The Guardian also learnt yesterday that two other Nigerians, a coach in the special sports and a 200m runner also disappeared in Australia.
A furious Yahaya told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that he didn’t expect the head coach of a national team to ‘escape’ at a competition venue.
“This is very embarrassing to us because as a head coach, I expected him to act like father to the athletes. But our head coach disappeared into the thin air even before the Games were concluded.”
Before Team Nigeria’s departure to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Yahaya had predicted that the four weightlifters paraded by the nation would win at least four gold medals.
That did not happen, as only one of them, Favour Agboro missed the chance to clinch Nigeria’s first medal at the Gold Coast in the men’s weightlifting.
In the 62kg final standings, Agboro finished fifth in a field of 14 contestants after a total lift of 268kg.
Though Yahaya praised the lifters for their spirited efforts at the Games, he blamed the head coach for registering the athletes in the ‘wrong’ categories.
“The four weightlifters we took to the Commonwealth Games were junior athletes,” Yahaya said. “Our senior athletes missed the opportunity of taking part in the qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games due to absence of a board in the federation.