By Aderonke Ojediran-Lawal
Lagos – Worried by Nigeria’s poor performance at international boxing competitions, Isaac Ikhuoria , an Olympian, on Sunday advised the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) to take preparations more seriously.
Ikhuoria spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos against the backdrop of the country’s lone boxer to the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil not winning a medal.
Nigeria presented only a boxer at the Olympics because others could not qualify after series of international qualifiers many of which it did not attend.
The bronze medal winner at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, said that bad results were products of shoddy preparations.
“How can you compete with countries that have trained consistently for four years while you have only practiced for months and yet you expect a miracle to win?
“I know there is the “God factor’’ but God is not a cheat; he won’t place you above someone that has been diligent and has paid his dues.
“There is no short cut to success, what you put in is what you get.
“Ask our boxers how many international and local tournaments they have participated in, in the last four years, it’s probably not up to seven, and maybe six were locally and one international.
“Their counterparts attended over 25 competitions within four years, how can we beat someone that trained hard?’’
The former Lightweight boxer told NAN that lack of structures and passion reduced the nation’s chances of making any positive impact at the Rio Games.
“We don’t have structures and we keep hoping on luck; the moment we realise that wishful thinking does win medals, we will progress, this applies to all sports not just boxing.
“It’s sad; thank God the Paralympians have redeemed our image, and note that this people are able to achieve this based on personal motivation.
“They deserve to be rewarded,’’ he said.