NOC president decorates Mariam Usman with Olympic Bronze medal

NOC president decorates Mariam Usman with Olympic Bronze medal
Mariam Usman has finally received her long awaited 2008 Olympic bronze medal initially awarded to Koroboka Olha of Russia. The Russian was stripped off the bronze medal after she tested positive in 2008 after the Beijing Olympics.

The President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel formally decorated the country’s weightlifter, Mariam Usman with the medal.

Engineer Gumel in Abuja said the NOC is confident about the fight against doping championed by the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

He said, “Today is a very important day for the us in the sense that we have our weightlifter, Mariam Usman +75kg decorated as an Olympic medallist”.

“After every competition, there is always a test to be sure the athletes are free from drugs. The medallists were tested and the lady from Ukraine tested positive and the IOC decided to retrieve t the medal and give to the rightful owner who is Mariam”, He noted.

Gumel added that for an athlete to win a medal at any Olympics Games, it takes between 4 to 10 years of training and hard work.”We’ll create an enabling environment for the athletes to thrive and eventually win medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics”.

“We have the Commonwealth games next year in Australia, Youth Olympic games and Olympic games in Tokyo 2020. It is our responsibility that we tighten our belt and start training”.

Mariam Usman with her long awaited Olympic Bronze medal

The recipient, Mariam Usman of Nigeria said, “I feel excited, overwhelmed, I feel like I’m on the podium right now because getting an Olympic medal means a lot to me as an athlete.

” The Russian beat me with one kilogram and took the bronze slightly. It was a narrow escape and since it does not belong to her and came back to the rightful owner”, she told aclsports.com.

Speaking on what it’s like to waiting for 9 years, Mariam said, “The doping fight is really working. We appreciate what they are doing for those of us lifting clean”.

Earlier, the minister of sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung promised supporting all the sports adding that they are all equal.

“Weightlifting, Taekwondo, Wrestling can give the country over 15 medals. I’ll ensure under my watch other sports rise and the best brought out of them.”

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