By Goodluck Ikiebe
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated all the athletes, coaches and officials that represented Nigeria in the 2022 Commonweath Games for their glorious and historic performance at the Games.
The President, in his congratulatory message to the Team, stated that he joined millions of other sports loving Nigerians to watch some of the colourful and spectacular moments, which resulted in the harvest of 35 medals, including 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze by the Team for the country.
According to him, “I salute the memorable display of Team Nigeria athletes and I commend the 94 worthy ambassadors that proudly flew the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events 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”
The President, who thanked the shining stars of Nigeria for competing among the topmost athletes in the world and displaying the God-given attributes of the real Nigerian- never give up, strive to the end spirit, stated further that the achievement and memories will linger in the nation forever.
According to him, it is noteworthy that majority of the medals so far, including 12 gold for the country, were championed by our 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, he added 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.
For me, he said, “this is a special moment and a fitting parting gift, being my last Commonwealth Games as Head of State.”
President Muhammadu Buhari also lauded the leadership and top management staff of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, coaching crew and team officials, for the passion towards ensuring the development of sports in the country.
He assured that history will remember them for all their contributions in making our athletes shine in the international arena.
The 11-day competition which had no fewer than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories, competed in 280 medal events.
In a similar development,
the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has commended Team Nigeria for its outstanding performance in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, describing it as the best ever in the history of the competition.
The Minister, who stated this in his message to the athletes, coaches and officials, said that in all, Team Nigeria amassed 35 medals, made up of 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze.
“The gold medal haul is the highest at a single Commonwealth Games for Team Nigeria, representing its best performance ever”, he added.
Dare, who described this year’s performance as excellent, inspirational, phenomenal, commendable and commanding, noted further that the impressive outing earned Team Nigeria number 7 on the medals table, and also the best ranked African country in the tournament.
“This is a performance like no other, many new records were set, old records broken, long standing jinxes of not getting on the podium in some sports were destroyed”, the Minister said.
While congratulating all the participating athletes, coaches, officials, staff and top management of the Ministry and Nigerians in general for their sacrifice, commitment, confidence and patriotism, he added that this signposts a brighter and better future for the country’s sports development.
“I am proud of them, Nigeria is proud of them and I believe that the Nigerian spirit that led them to these performances will lead them to the place of excellence,” Dare concluded.
Edited by Dada Ahmed.