GLASGOW – Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former Head of State, has tasked Team Nigeria athletes at the ongoing 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to strive for more medals in order to break new record.
Gowon, who spoke against the backdrop of the three medals won so far in the games, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that the 127 athletes representing the country had the potential to surpass the achievement recorded at the New Delhi games in 2010.
“My advice to them is to encourage them to do their best and go for the ultimate price which is the gold medal; the joy in winning is not only a personal achievement but an honour to the nation,’’ he said.
While reacting to the silver medal won by Winifred Ndidi at the 58 kg women’s weightlifting, Gowon said that she did exceptionally well “as you can see we are all delighted with her performance, if not for the cancellation of the second round point she would have won the gold medal’’.
Ndidi lifted 206 kg weight to emerge second to England’s Zoe Smith who took the gold medal after setting games record with 210 kg weight.
Similarly, Mr Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), commended Ndidi for the silver medal, but expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the 95 kg weight, saying “if not because they recorded her 95 kg as no lift, she would have even lifted higher than the 206 weight’’.
Elegbeleye expressed optimism that the nation would win gold medals for weightlifting, saying “we are here for gold and have come prepared to win’’.
Meanwhile, Ndidi who was emotional having lost the gold, told NAN that “my target was to win the gold medals for the nation, it is sad that I missed out on it, but I did my best.
“I want to thank Nigerians for their support but to say that I will continue to make the nation proud’’.
Nigeria is represented by 15 weightlifters at the various categories in the weight games.
The 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow started on July 23 and will end on Aug. 3. (NAN)