- The president of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Mohammed Yahaya, says disappearance of head coach at the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a big embarrassment
- The coach (names withheld) is believed to follow other African athletes who chose to abscond from the rest of the contingent in Australia
- It is believed that they hope to seek greener pastures abroad
The president of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Mohammed Yahaya, has described the reported disappearance of head coach of the weightlifting event in the Gold Coast, Australia, venue of the just concluded 2018 Commonwealth Games as "big embarrassment".
The coach (names withheld) is believed to have followed the ways of some Africans, especially athletes from Cameroon, who chose to abscond from the rest of the contingent in Australia to seek greener pastures even before the end of the Games.
It was also learnt yesterday April 18 that two other Nigerians, a coach in the special sports and a 200m runner also disappeared in Australia.
Yahaya who sounded furious told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday April 18 that he did not expect the head coach of a national team to ‘escape’ at a competition venue.
“This is very embarrassing to us because as a head coach, I expected him to act like father to the athletes. But our head coach disappeared into the thin air even before the Games were concluded.”
Yahaya had previously predicted before Team Nigeria’s departure to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, that the four weightlifters paraded by the nation would win at least four gold medals.
That did not happen, as only one of them, Favour Agboro missed the chance to clinch Nigeria’s first medal at the Gold Coast in the men’s weightlifting.
In the 62kg final standings, Agboro finished fifth in a field of 14 contestants after a total lift of 268kg.
In spite of being angry, Yahaya took time to praise the lifters for their spirited efforts at the Games, though he blamed the head coach for registering the athletes in the ‘wrong’ categories.
He said: “The four weightlifters we took to the Commonwealth Games were junior athletes,”
“Our senior athletes missed the opportunity of taking part in the qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games due to absence of a board in the federation."
Still on the Commonwealth games NAIJ.com previously reported that Aruna Quadri settled for a silver medal after agonizingly losing out to Singapore’s Nina Gao in the final of the men’s table tennis singles event.
Nigeria’s sole competitor on the last day of the Commonwealth Games lost 4-2 (7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 5-11) to the 2007 men’s singles winner in a close contest.
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