20th C’Wealth Games Kicks Off, Today …Nigeria Targets Improved Performance By Gabriel Nwanetanya New York[RR] LONDON–Gabriel Nwanetanya, says, “Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria’s medal prospect at the 20th C’Wealth Games, Glasgow 2014 As the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Scotland today, with the opening ceremony slated for Celtic Park, attention will be on […]
20th C’Wealth Games Kicks Off, Today …Nigeria Targets Improved Performance By Gabriel Nwanetanya
New York[RR] LONDON–Gabriel Nwanetanya, says, “Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria’s medal prospect at the 20th C’Wealth Games, Glasgow 2014
As the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Scotland today, with the opening ceremony slated for Celtic Park, attention will be on the Commonwealth countries as over 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 nations and territories compete in 17 sports over 11 days.
The essence is to win honours for countries in an atmosphere of unity, comradeship and fairness as bridges are built across athletes and nations.
Nigeria and her athletes are looking for an improved performance from the last edition held in India in 2010 where the country finished nineth on the table with a haul of 11 gold, eight silver and 14 bronze medals.
Team Nigeria will be participating in seven sports in the Games billed to hold from today to August 3.
According to the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Tunde Popoola, the Sports are athletics, table tennis, wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, shooting and all the Sports for the physically challenged (Para-Sports).
“We are participating in Sports that we believe have medal winning prospects. We are going with the precise number of athletes that would be competing in the Games and no room for jamboree, we are assuring Nigerians that we’re not going into the Games for jamboree but to win medals”, said Popoola. He believed that the Games would be Spectacular for the country because all hands, are on deck to ensure that the country registers an outstanding performance.
Blessing Okagbare, the long jump and sprint sensation, who recently set a double meet record of 6.86m in long jump and 22.36 secs in 200 metres once, respectively in the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, China is one of the country’s top medals prospects, alongside the para-athletes.
Nigeria made her debut in the Games in 1950 winning a silver medal in the Meris High jump competition Medal success has been achieved in every Games the country has taken part in with Victoria 1994 being the most successful to date with 37 podium places brining 11 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals. Success has traditionally come in six sporting disciplines with athletics and boxing being good sources of medals. Now, the para sports have come to add more haul to the kitty.
The Commonwealth Games held among former British colonies, often referred to as the friendly Games has come a long way since the first edition held in 1930 in Hamitton, Canada where 11 countries sent 400 athlete, to take part in six sports and 59 events. Since then, the Games has been held every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 due to the second world war).