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How Team Nigeria could bring home 22 gold medals from Rio 2016 Olympics

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Nigeria’s misfortunes continue at the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympics as three of the country’s medal hopes were dashed on Tuesday night.

In the track & field event, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor failed to qualify for the final of the women’s 200m event as she clocked 22.69secs to place fifth in the tough first semi final that also paraded Dapner Schippers of the Netherlands, Elaine Thompson (Jamaica), Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith and Lisa Mayer of Germany.

Also, Nigeria’s lone boxer in Rio, Efe Ajagba lost 2-1 decision to world number two ranked Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan in the super heavyweight category.

Many Nigeria’s have hoped Ajagba was Team Nigeria’s brightest chance of wonning a medal in Rio following his knock out victory in his previous bout against a Trinidad and Tobago’s boxer. But it was never to be as Ajagba succumbed to the superior experience of the Kazakh.

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With four days before the end of the Games, many Nigerians are beginning to lose hope on the chances of Team Nigeria winning at least a medal to appear on the medals table.

However, despite the odds against Team Nigeria in Rio, there are still opportunities for Team Nigeria to turn things around and get as much as 22 gold medals before the Games comes to an end on Saturday.

In men’s football alone, Nigeria could get 22 gold medals if the country’s U-23 team, fondly called the Dream Team VI, could win the final.

The Dream Team VI will be playing Germany in the semi final match later night.

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The coach Samson Siasia tutored side are one of the favourites for the gold medal following the impressive results they’ve recorded so far in Rio.

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The Dream Team won the first two group matches in spite of the shoddy preparation and travelling arrangement they had before the Games. They lost their last match against Colombia 0-2 and many believed it was due to the fact that they had already qualified for the quarter final.

Against Denmark in the last eight, the team captained by Mikel John Obi won convincingly with a 2-0 scoreline.

If the Dream Team win Germany tonight, they would be playing either Brazil or Honduras in the final.  Both teams play 3 hours before Nigeria’s match.

With the level of confidence in the team and high level of ball sense they’ve shown in the four matches they have played so far, many football pundits believe the gold medal is for the Dream Team VI to be taken.

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And if Nigeria win the final, the Dream Team VI would be coming home with 22 gold medals. This is because all the 22 players would be presented a gold medal each. Even though it would be counted as ONE gold medal on the medal table.

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Meanwhile, hope of a medal is still not lost in the women’s long jump. Nigeria’s Ese Brume leapt 6.67m on Tuesday to place third in the qualifying event of the women’s long jump. And thus qualified her for the final round on Thursday.

Brume is ranked 6th going into the final and with the first placed jumper, Ivana Španović of Serbia, having leapt 6,87 one could hope the Nigerian would improve in the final and at least be among the top three for a chance to win at least a bronze medal.

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