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Tokyo 2020: Nigeria’s gold medal drought continues years after Sydney 2000

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NIGERIA currently sits in 68th place in the medals table of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with 2 medals and none of them is gold, hence, continuing the nation’s gold drought since the last win in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Nigeria has won only three gold medals since 1952 when she began competing in the modern Olympic games.

From its inception, Nigeria has participated in 17 Summer Olympic games, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and one Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


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Nigeria Olympics history as at the end of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, is decked with a total of 25 medals; 12 of which are bronze, 10 are silver and three are gold medals.

After crashing out of the Women’s 4x100m relay on Thursday, the country’s medals are a total of 27, as Nigeria got a silver in Women’s freestyle wrestling 68kg and a bronze in Women’s long jump.

Nigeria’s Modern Summer Olympics’ Medal History
Nigeria’s Modern Summer Olympics’ Medal History

Tokyo city is significant for Nigeria.

Until the Tokyo 1964 Olympics, where one bronze medal was won, Nigeria had not won any medal in the modern Olympic games.

A quick assessment of the records shows there has been a withdrawal in Nigeria’s performance at the Olympics, since the 2008 Beijing Olympics where a total of 5 medals were won.

Four years later, during the 2012 London Olympics, Nigeria finished without winning a single medal. The last time that happened was five Summer Olympics editions back, in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The record however shows that this year Olympic performance is an improvement to the last two editions of the Olympics because Nigeria didn’t win any medal in the 2012 London Olympic and won only a bronze in football in 2016

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From Tokyo 1964 to Tokyo 2021, Nigeria’s performance at the Summer Olympic games, has increased, especially with the Atlanta 1996 games where a total of six medals were won and among them were two golds.

But with the disqualification of 10 out of Nigeria’s 23 athletes in the Tokyo Olympics, Nigeria was plunged into a low.

The athletes were disqualified after officials determined they had not received the number of drug tests necessary before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics started on July 23, 2021.

Fingers have been pointed since the disqualification of the athletes and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria.

The Ibrahim Gusau led faction blamed the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD), saying that the duty of conducting tests rests on the National Anti-doping Agency (NADO/NADC), which is under the control of the Ministry of Youth and sports development.

In a statement, AFN said FMYSD refused to fund the NADO/NADC to carry out its primary responsibility, despite the warning.

The ICIR spoke to sports journalist, Joshua Odeyemi, who said that while the athletic federation did well, their preparation lacked expertise.

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He said there was a lack of current trends, citing the example of Odunayo Adekuoroye, Nigeria’s athlete in 53kg freestyle wrestling who he said was pinballed, despite having the earlier lead.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Don’t be surprise with our performance at the world stage, and don’t expect it to improve in the next decade until we get basic things right and place national honor to those that have represented Nigeria at the world stage. while Olympic event was on in Tokyo, BBNaija started. I wounder which event gain more attention in our local media…

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