The results coming out of the ongoing 19th Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia suggest that the chances of Team Nigeria equaling its last outing at the 2014 Games in Glasgow let alone surpass the feat is no longer feasible after Team India soundly trounced Nigeria’s flag-bearers 3-0 in the finals of the Men’s Table Tennis team event to claimed gold, yesterday.
Nigeria won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals from eight sports at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland. This time around with five days remaining to end the 2018 Games at Gold Coast, the most populous black nation is struggling to catch up with the rest of the participating commonwealth nations.
After failing to make the podium in the first four days of the championship, all hopes were on the trio of Bode Abiodun, Segun Toriola and Olajide Omotayo to give Nigeria its first gold medal at the quadrennial event, it ended in a crushing three set loss (11-9, 11-5, and 11-4) for Team Nigeria as Team India clinched Gold.
Achanta Sharath, Sathiyan Gnanasetkaran and Harmeet Desai helped Team India defeat Team Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun, Segun Toriola and Olajide Omotayo with Aruna Quadri watching from the sidelines.
In the opening singles match, Sharath Achanta defeated Bode Abiodun in four games with Abiodun winning just one set. The Indian won the first two sets 11-4, 11-5 before Abiodun rallied back to an impressive 11-4 win with six game points. Abiodun built momentum as he saved two match points but could not hold as Achanta closed out the 4th set 9-11.
Veteran Segun Toriola started the second game on the front foot racing into a 6-4 lead before relinquishing it for Gnanasetkaran to tie 6-6. Again, Toriola went up 10-6, missed a game point which allowed the Indian comeback to 10-10. Toriola did enough to win the set 10-12.
Gnanasetkaran revved back into the game, smartly beating Toriola with his varied shots in the remaining three sets, 11-2, 11-3, and 11-4.
Just as the team had to settle for silver medal in the table tennis, another hope for gold was also dashed in Men’s shot put event. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the second silver medal for Nigeria in Men’s Shot Put with a best throw of 21.14m behind Tomas Walsh of New Zeland, who won gold with 21.41m.
Canada’s Tim Nedow took the bronze with 20.91m.
Team Nigeria is featuring in nine sports at the ongoing Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia.