Connect with us


Four things Nigeria must do to perform better at Tokyo 2020 Olympics


It is only two days to the end of the Rio Olympic 2016 going on in Brazil. It looks like Nigeria may not come home with any medals after all, except the men’s soccer team are able to beat Honduras on Saturday for a bronze and if the female 4x100m team are able to outrun others to get a medal.
Though all the circumstances surrounding Team Nigeria’s sojourn to the Olympics didn’t really do much to keep hopes alive, sports fans and athletes alike have held onto passion and luck to kindle whatever embers of hope may remain.

First, it was an email from the sports ministry (which was later denied), asking some of the contingents to pay their own airfare to Brazil, the venue of the games. Some of the athletes had to resort to crowd funding to surmount the challenge. Then, it was the opening ceremony regalia not reaching the venue on time, leading to a shambolic outing with track suit. There was also the issue of allowances not been paid and the threat by the football team of boycotting the quarter final game.

aruna 2

Aruna Quadri became the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s single table tennis event

Against all the odds, there were some outcomes from the games that thrilled Nigerians. In fact records were broken.

MORE READING!  Osimhen wins AIC Footballer of the Year award

Aruna Quadri became the first African to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s single table tennis event; Segun Toriola became the first African with the most appearance in an Olympic, albeit without any medal. Ese Brume created a new personal best of 6.81m, against her former personal best of 6.68m. Chierika Ukogu made history as Nigeria’s first ever Olympic rower and she reached the semi-finals. The moral from all these is that if sheer passion can take athletes this far, how much more proper preparation and full national support?

The 23-year-old would be looking to complete the history making by also being the first to bring home a medal from the event.

Chierika Ukogu made history as Nigeria’s first ever Olympic rower

There are many other lessons to learn in order to perform better in Tokyo, venue of the next Olympics in four years’ time. We present four of them here.

MORE READING!  Man United ban top journalists from press conference

Start early
Many loopholes which came up to work against Team Nigeria stemmed from lack of early preparation. If the regalia for the opening ceremony had been prepared early, chances are that it will not reach the venue late. Starting early also helps in assuring the athletes that they have the backing of the country.
Other countries begin preparation for one Olympic latest by the end of on Olympic. That gives them at least four years to prepare.

Establish and focus on priorities


Instead of taking the whole country to the games and ending up without a medal, it is better to go with a few people and bring in some medals. This calls for playing to the strength off the country. Nigeria has very good track and field athletes, thus attention should be given to this people so that more of them can qualify for the games and this can increase the country’s medal chances.

MORE READING!  Guardiola slams EPL icons over Man City criticism

Provide incentives

provide adequate training equipment for tokyo 2020

One of the greatest motivations for doing anything is appreciation. When athletes can feel the appreciation of the fatherland they are representing, they tend to perform better, research has shown. One way of appreciating athletes is by providing standard training equipment. A visit to gyms where Nigerian athletes train may leave you in tears.

Realise that talent alone is not enough

it is not all about talent for tokyo 2020

True, Nigerians are talented, but talent alone is not enough to win Olympic medals. Adequate training, fitting body conformation, high morale, determination and focus would always out do talent alone. Research into why athletes generally perform better than they do several decades ago shows that doing sports that fits your body conformation, being focused on your sports and technology are some of the things responsible. A coach can only expect a fraction of an athlete’s attention the athlete has to also think about how to put food on the table and pay rents when he/she is in camp. Corporate organisations should be begged to help sponsor some of these sports if the country will perform well at Tokyo 2020.