Nigeria’s ex-sprinter, Imoh reveals the cause of Nigeria’s downfall at Olympics
Nigeria’s former sprinter, Chidi Imoh has stated that the country’s athletes performed well at the just-concluded Olympics in Tokyo.
Imoh, a 4×100m relay Olympic silver medalist while speaking with newsmen said the athletes did well despite the condition under which they performed.
Nigeria finished 74th on the overall medal table, winning just a silver in wrestling and bronze in long jump.
Meanwhile, the 55-year-old ex-sprinter slammed the country’s ministry of sports and athletics federations (AFN), blaming them for “our downfall in sports”.
“I know that their performance in Tokyo is definitely good. Because I know that ten of them was disqualified. I think the few that competed did good considering the condition under which they competed,” Imoh told.
“Pertaining to the athletes now, I think the competition performance is beyond them. Our problem is the officials (the ministry of sports and federations leaders). The officials are the cause of our downfall in sports. The athletes are doing good.
“Politicking has killed our Track and Field and sports generally. They are killing the sport. We keep fighting over little stuff. Do you know how many generations have been wasted and still wasting since I stopped running/competing for Nigeria? Yet, the kind of administrators we get still keep doing the same thing all over again.
“When are they going to wake up? Look at Jamaica? Small country. They are not better than us. We ran against the best of Jamaicans and we beat them in my own time. Jamaica were still up there, young and old, yet they were still running fast.
“We ought to be going up, not going down. Breaking records. That’s what we ought to be doing as a country in athletics.”
The two-time African championship 100m gold medalist bemoaned Nigeria’s non-qualification for the 4x100m relay which he believed was the nation’s forte in track and field event.
“With what we got they did good in Tokyo. But the problem here is how on earth did Nigeria not qualify for the 4x100m relay? I see no reason at all why we never did,” he said.
“Are you telling me that we don’t have like four or five more of Enoch Adegoke in the country to qualify us for the 4x100m? It’s so painful when I see what’s happening in Nigeria sports. Nigeria is suppose to be in the top three in 4x100m relay. Nigeria is suppose to be in the top three in that event.”
Chidi Imoh won an Olympic silver medal in the 4x100m relay at the 1992 Olympics.
He also won a silver medal in the 100m at the 1986 Goodwill Games, where he finished second behind Ben Johnson and ahead of Carl Lewis.
In the 1987 All-African Games in Nairobi, Kenya, he won his medal in the 100m race.
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