It has been a bitter sweet outing for team Nigeria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics especially in athletics with the likes of Tobi Amusan and Enoch Adegoke impressing in their respective events while twelve other athletes in the Nigerian contingent were disqualified or banned.
Blessing Okagbare was suspended for testing positive to the growth hormone after she seemed primed for a good outing in the women’s 100m semifinal, while Divine Oduduru was disqualified for a false start in the men’s 100m heats.
Ten other Nigerian athletes were banned from participating after it was revealed that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria failed to conduct the necessary basic doping test ahead of the Olympics.
However, something to cheer was Enoch Adegoke running a sub 10 (9.98s) for the first time in his career, making him the 11th Nigerian man to run a sub 10. Also, he became the first Nigerian in an Olympic 100m Sprint final for the first time since 1996.
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Adegoke however pulled up mid-way in the final due to an injury but he sure can hold his head high following an impressive showing in Tokyo.
In the same vein, Tobi Amusan reached the final of the women’s 100mH, becoming the first Nigerian woman to do so since Gloria Alozie clinched silver medal at Sydney, 2000.
Tobi however couldn’t get a podium finish as she came fourth with 12.60s (0.05s) short of a bronze medal. This makes it the second time in two consecutive major championships that Amusan has just fallen short of a podium finish.
But we will remember Amusan and Adegoke for their incredible feat and leaving their hearts out on the track flying the colours of Nigeria despite all the drama surrounding Team Nigeria in Tokyo.