Former Nigeria Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has praised Team Nigeria for harvest of medals at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
He was at the Carrara Stadium to watch Chukwuebuka Enekwechi throw a distance of 21.14m in the Men’s Shot-put final to place second and clinch silver medal.
The elder statesman who is also the leader of the Nigerian delegation to Australia paid glowing tributes to Nigerian athletes on the night.
“Today we have a silver in the Shot Put and those who ran the 100m did very well. Though we came fourth and seventh, it wasn’t a bad result because we are among the fastest seven in the Commonwealth.
“The result could have been better but we have done reasonably well. We just need to work harder and produce better athletes and more success in the future.”
Gen Gowon also charged other athletes to work harder and get the result that is expected of them while calling on the Nigerian community in Australia to troop out and support Team Nigeria.
“I am here with my wife and daughter as well as the Nigerian Community that we met here in Australia. Their presence and support here at the Commonwealth Games is very impressive and I know there is always great support for Nigeria’s sporting activities.”
In the finals of the men’s 100m where two Nigerians featured, Seye Ogunlewe posted a season’s best of 10.19 seconds to place fourth while Enoch Adegoke came seventh in 10.35secs.
Yinka Ajayi advanced to the semi-finals of the Women’s 400m in a time of 47.31 secs as Patience Okon and Folashade Abugan were disqualified for stepping on the start line.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Men’s Table Tennis Team comprising Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo secured a hard fought victory over England in the semi-final but lost gallantly to Team India in the final with a silver medal to show for.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung and the President Nigeria Olympic Committee Engr Habu Gumel visited the players in the call room before the game.
The Minister encouraged the team to be of good cheer as they embark on the task ahead.
“The Nigerian spirit should lead you. Nigeria is with you. Nothing will stop you and I wish you the best” Dalung said.