By Obi Martins Okafor.
The London Olympics ended in the most glamorous fashion with some athletes successful and others unfortunate not to have picked a medal.
Nigerian athletes participated in 13 games and came back with no medals. Many questions are already hitting headlines, but the big question is “what have we learned from this Olympic Games?”
Firstly, Nigeria should groom athletes who have not hit their pinnacle but are young and have great potential to grow. Here, we have to invest more on scouting for young, talented athletes who are well motivated. Athletes like Segun Toriola and Funke Oshonaike have done their best but they need to give room for new promising athletes to come through.
Secondly, our athletes should be giving early exposure to global tournaments; this will pull out their competitive spirits when they come across the best in the games.
Furthermore, the enormous funds lavished on tones of government officials attending the games should be channeled to athlete preparation which should start immediately after the last Olympic Games.
Finally, depending on one athlete for a medal is a failed venture. The Pressure on Blessing Okagbare to win the 100m gold medal was surprising as her personal best of 10.92 was achieved during the games. Although there are surprises in sports but track and field is measurable, Blessing had never run 10.8 seconds in 100m and from the different times the other big wig athletes were running, it seemed that was the time needed to get the gold medal. Blessing was running 11 seconds and below that time a week to the Olympics. She unfortunately couldn’t top her best time in the finals running her regular accomplishment of 11+ seconds.
The 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, should be looked at as to be held in 2013 so that preparations will hit top gear even before the actual year of the Olympics.