By Duro Ikazuagbe
The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama, remains hopeful that the country is capable of surprising the world here at the London 2012.
Speaking shortly after three Nigerian athletes made it into the semi finals of their various events yesterday, the serving navy officer representing the armed forces on the board of the federation, told THISDAY that he was very sure of Nigerian athletes returning to be the saving grace here.
“If you remember what happened at the last All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique last year, when our athletes saved the country, the same is possible also,” observed Capt. Nesiama.
He was particularly happy that all the country’s entries in the women quarter mile and the men’s 400m hurdles made it into the semi finals of the two events.
“I believe this is a positive sign of what to expect as the athletics events begins. Our athletes are going to prove their worth.”
On Blessing Okagbare, Nesiama said the Delta girl has adequately prepared for this edition of the Olympics and is ready to crown her effort with medals.
“She has prepared very well just like all the others who started their events today. With luck on our side, Blessing (Okagbare) should be in the final and possibly on the podium on Saturday when the final of the 100m takes place,” stressed the technical chief of the AFN.
At the last Games in Beijing, China four years ago, Okagbare won a bronze medal from the women’s long jump while the men’s football team that lost to Argentina in the final picked the silver. Chika Chukwumerije won Nigeria’s other bronze medal in the +80 kg category of the men’s taekwondo.