The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, has lauded the performance of Team Nigeria at the just concluded African Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius.
Team Nigeria won five gold, three silver and three bronze medals to finish third on the medals table behind Kenya and South Africa.
Despite missing some of her top star athletes, Team Nigeria still put up a credible outing at the competition, showing her strength in depth in both track and field events.
Sports Minister Dare says the performance of the athletes underlines the positive attitude of Nigerian sports men and women as well as the fighting spirit that makes them succeed against all odds and thrive in the most difficult and unconducive situation.
“Even in the absence of some of our top rated athletes who could not make it to Mauritius, Team Nigeria still fought gallantly and defended our colours brilliantly. We are so proud of them,” the Minister said. Team Nigeria won a gold, silver and two bronze medals on the final day to end their campaign at the 22nd African Athletics Championship in Mauritius with 11 medals, finishing the Championships third on the medals’ table for the third consecutive times.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi successfully defended his Shot Put title in a record breaking fashion, threw 21.20m to erase the 21.08m championship record he set four years ago in Asaba, Delta state and has now become the first Nigerian to successfully defend a Shot Put title in the history of the championship.
The 29-year-old’s golden effort increased Nigeria’s medals to five gold while high jumper Mike Edwards won a silver medal and the 4x400m men and women’s relay teams got bronze respectively to ensure an under strength Nigerian team finish third for the third consecutive editions.
Nigeria won a total of 11 medals made up of five gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
Sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan opened the floodgate of medals after she retained the 100m hurdles title.
The women’s 4×100 relay team and Discus thrower, Chioma Onyekwere won two more the next day before Oyesade Olatoye added a historic hammer gold on day four.
Chukwuebuka added the fifth on day five.