Nigeria used to be a great force in global athletics but that has changed. The country’s fortunes have plummeted in track and field events. The downward trend continued in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, where Nigeria won only two medals: bronze in long jump and silver in wrestling.
Oladele Oladipo, a professor of sports and exercise physiology at the University of Ibadan, offers insight into what has gone wrong and what Nigeria should do to regain its former competitive position. He also suggests athletics competitions in schools should be revived across the country.
“Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Emmanuel Ojelli (rear) and Imaobong Nse Uko compete in the mixed 4x400m relay heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on 30 July 2021. Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP found on Getty Images Rights-managed