It is not out of place to show some support for your countrymen participating in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Olympics will be in full swing from in a few days.
As 206 countries jostle for medals at the games, the next two weeks will be busy times for sport lovers whose focus are on athletes in different sporting events, with Nigerians “hopeful” from about nine. Bearing in mind the shoddy preparations experienced by Nigerian contingents, one is forced to say that expecting a medal from any of these athletes would be asking for too much. That is, it will be a miracle and highly celebrated feat if any Nigerian athlete win a medal regardless of the type.
For the records, Nigerian athletes will be participating in Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Football, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis, and Weightlifting. While you are compelled by patriotism, it is worthy to note the stars to look out for in the various potential medal area.
The sprint world boast of Jamaica’s lightning Usain Bolt who hopes to make yet another mark in the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay to be challenged by America’s Justin Gatlin. While the female category Nigeria depends on the prowess of Blessing Okagbare as she contends with the likes of Shelly Ann-Fraser Pryce who aims to be the first to achieve three successive 100m titles. Another Jamaican Elaine Thompson and Dutch Dafne Schippers are also leading the park as favorite.
Of course you want to see what D’Tigers can pull off something in the men’s Basketball, but watch our for the Americans as they parade 19 NBA stars having qualified for the Olympics after winning the FIBA World Cup in 2014.
Efe Ajagba, the only Nigerian representative will be aiming for Gold, a medal the nation has never won. He will have to show his mettle fighting against other professional from other climes who are used to the scene. Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic, Great Britain’s Joe Joyce and France’s Tony Yoka will be ones to look out for in the Super Heavyweight category.
While football takes the backseat in the games, Nigeria’s Dream Team tutored by Samson Siasia, led by Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will seek to replicate the feat recorded in Atlanta 1996 where the team defeated Brazil, this year’s host to clinch Gold. Brazil on home soil will be parading the likes of Barcelona’s Neymar Jnr, PSG defender Marquinhos and Douglas Costa of Bayern Munich will be looking to help the host win a title that has eluded the side.
In the pool, while Michael Phelps will also be swimming, you should also look out for Katie Ledecky who won Olympic gold in the 800m in London four years ago, has set 11 world records and won every major international race she has competed in.
She holds world records in the 400m, 800m, and 1,500m freestyle and is going for gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles in Rio. Her major competition will be fellow American, Missy Franklin in the 200m.
Nigeria parades Africa’s finest Aruna Quadri but the Ping pong world will feature world’s finest, that is, top-ranked four male players in the world who are all Asians, Ma Long who failed to qualify for London, reigning Olympic champion Zhang Jike also Chinese, Jun Mizutani (Japan), Chuang Chih-Yuan, Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong).
Interestingly, Nigeria’s sole representative in weightlifting Maryam Usman who was at Beijing 2008 and London Olympics, will be in Rio with the challenge of winning a medal having failed in previous Olympics outings
For most Nigerians, it will only be fair to wish Team Nigeria the best as they arrive Rio to compete, and stay hopeful.
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