8 August 2012

Nigeria: Olympics - Poor Preparations, Bane of Team Nigeria - Oguntade

Photo: This Day
Team Nigeria's Tosin Oke (c) Isaam Nima of Algeria (left) and Hugo Mamba of Cameroon on the podium shortly after being presented with their Triple Jump medal at the African Championships in Port Novo, Benin Republic

Lagos — Segun Oguntade, Secretary, Nigeria Table-Tennis Federation (NTTF), on Wednesday attributed Team Nigeria's dismal performance at the ongoing London Olympic Games to poor preparations.

Oguntade told reporters in Lagos that Team Nigeria did not start their preparations early enough, unlike other countries that are taking part in the Games.

"What took other countries four years to prepare for, took us only four months, which I must say was the major reason for Nigeria's poor showing at the Games," he said.

According to Oguntade, the four table tennis players that represented the country at the Games were talented and experienced, but did not have adequate preparations.

"Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri, our male players, Edem Offiong and Funke Oshonaike, our female representatives at the Games are all experienced players, capable of representing any nation in a global tournament.

"They represented the country at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011 and performed excellently well, due to proper preparations.

"They had equally participated in a series of African and world Championships which also helped them to qualify for the Olympics, but late preparations was their greatest undoing," he said.

The secretary said that the Olympic Games were very important championship events that required a serious approach because of the magnitude of the countries and athletes involved.

According to him, Team Nigeria's athletes did their best at the Games, but cannot be compared to the standard displayed by athletes from other participating countries who prepared well.

He, however, assured that NTTF, with the support of the National Sports Commission (NSC), would strive to avoid a recurrence of such an outing in subsequent competitions.


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