By Femi Solaja
At the end of 2018 Commonwealth Games yesterday in Gold Coast , Australia, Team Nigeria won nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals to finish ninth on the overall medals table.
The feat though achieved through personal efforts of most Team Nigeria athletes, was a spot below the eighth placement at the Glasgow Games four years ago when we won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals.
Aruna Quadri won Team Nigeria’s last medal at the 2018 Games edition after clinching silver in the men’s table tennis singles event, losing to Ning Gao of Singapore on Sunday morning.
South Africa emerged Africa’s best team as they finished in the sixth position with 13 gold, 11 silver, 13 bronze medals.
Kenya were 14th with four gold, seven silver, six bronze, Uganda 15th with three gold, one silver, two bronze, Botswana occupied the 16th position on three gold, one silver, one bronze and Namibia with two gold ended in the 19th position.
Cameroon who had one silver and two bronze finished in the 32nd position, Mauritius were in joint-34th position with one silver while Ghana and Seychelles who only won one bronze, were joint-39th in the medal table.
Hosts Australia, were the overall winners at this year’s games after amassing 80 gold, 59 silver, 59 bronze to bring their medals total to 198.
England who were champions at the 2014 edition, came second with 45 gold, 45 silver, 46 bronze, India clinched third spot with 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze.
Canada came fourth with 15 gold, 40 silver, 27 bronze and New Zealand finished fifth after securing 15 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals.
Meanwhile the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, commended the team for not just doing the nation proud but better the performance at the last edition in Glasgow. ” I thank you very much for making us proud. We have done a comparative analysis and looked at the size of our contingent when we went to Glasgow. How many sports we competed in and how much money was voted? These are the factors which will confirm whether we have done better here or not. From the average knowledge of what I have, we have done better here than what we did in Glasgow.”
The Minister also announced that arrangements to host those available back in Nigeria has been put in place.
“This will enable us to interface, interact, cross pollinate ideas and enjoy ourselves. I don’t want us to access our success with medals. We should assess our success by participation and the way we conducted ourselves during the Games.It is also time to begin to invest in our athletes if we want to do well in sports,” he remarked.