As the curtain draws on the 22nd Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated the athletes that represented Nigeria gloriously in the competition.
The President in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, on Sunday night, joined millions of other sports loving Nigerians to watch some of the colourful and spectacular moments in the 11-day competition, which had no fewer than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories, competing in 280 medal events.
Saluting the memorable display of Team Nigeria athletes, the President commended the 94 worthy ambassadors that proudly flew the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events, and for those exciting moments when the medalists brought smiles to our faces by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal bests in their career.
With 35 medals, including 12 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze harvested already on the late evening of the 10th day of the Games, and more medals likely for the country on the last day, the President thanked the shining stars of Nigeria for competing among the best in the world and displaying the God-given attributes of the real Nigerian never give up, strive to the end.
According to the President, it was noteworthy that majority of the medals so far, including 12 gold for the country, were championed by the nation’s talented young women and girls, including multi-medalist Tobi Amusan (100m Women’s Hurdle and 4x100m Relay), Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha (4x100m Relay); Miesinnei Mercy Genesis (50 kg), Blessing Oborududu (57 kg) and Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) in Women’s Freestyle wrestling; as well as Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (55kg) and Rafiatu Folashade Lawal (59kg) in Women’s weightlifting.
Other gold medalists are Folashade Oluwafemiayo, Women’s heavyweight Para Powerlifting, Eucharia Iyiazi, Women’s shot put, Chioma Onyekwere and Goodness Nwachukwu in Women’s Discus throw, and Ese Brume, long jump.
‘‘We are proud of these achievements and the memories will linger with the nation forever and for me this is a special moment and a fitting parting gift, being my last Commonwealth Games as Head of State,” the President said.
The President also lauded the coaching crew and team officials for the passion towards the development of sports in the country, assuring them that history will remember them for all their contributions in making our athletes shine in the international arena.