Gaiya attributes Team Nigeria’s poor performance in Rio to lack of preparation


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Mr Godfrey Gaiya, a former House Representatives Committee Chairman on Sports, on Monday attributed the poor performance of Team Nigeria at the just-ended Rio 2016 Olympics to lack of preparations.

Gaiya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Nigeria was praying rather than preparing for the Games.

He said that it would have been better for the Minister of Sports to announce that the country was not going to take part in the Games because Nigeria was not prepared.

“ It is not praying for Nigeria to succeed in sports that will help us but hardwork to succeed.

“We should stop deceiving ourselves if we are not ready, we can say so and wait for the next four year to prepare,’’ he told NAN.

Gaiya said that for Nigeria to excel in Olympics; there was need allocate the required resources to sports development.

He added that it was also critical to have competent sports managers and coaches who understood what the games were all about.

He said that allocating time to athletes’ recruitment and training should also be done with diligence.

“I am not surprised at our performance because I know that the only sport that we will go near success is football and true to it, our footballers brought us the only medal.’’

This, he said, was so because it was only the country`s football team that trained for the Games.

Gaiya recalled that in 2012 after the London Olympics, a retreat was organised by the Presidency to fashion a road map for the next four years to be implemented before Rio 2016.

He added that it was regrettable that the report of the retreat never saw the light of the day.

NAN reports that Nigeria won two gold, one silver and three bronze medals at Atlanta 1996 Olympics in the U.S.

It will also be recalled that the country won one gold and 2 silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia and two bronze at Athens 2004 edition.

Nigeria also recorded its name on the medals table at the Beijing 2008 Olympics with two silver and two bronze.

The country, however, failed to win any medal at the London 2012 Olympics, but won one bronze at the just-concluded Rio 2016 Games in Brazil.

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