Nigeria grabs six gold medals in Samoa Commonwealth Youth Championship



IT was another celebration time for Team Nigeria yesterday at the ongoing Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, as the country recorded three more gold medals to take its medals haul to six gold.

Nigeria’s 200m female star athlete, Praise Oghenefejiro Idamadudu, was the cynosure of all eyes, as she won the 200m gold medal in a time of 23.30 seconds. Idamadudu is the reigning Nigerian and African junior champion in the 200m event.

Former Nigerian hurdler, Coach Seigha Porbeni, who is part of Team Nigeria’s officials to the Youth Games in Samoa, spoke with The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday morning, describing the team’s performance as ‘wonderful.’

“We have increased our medals haul to six gold in athletics and we are at par with South Africa at the moment,” an elated Porbeni said. “Idamadudu proved she is not just Nigerian and African champion, but an athlete we can rely on at the international stage. The athletes really did us proud.”

Idamadudu had won a bronze medal in the girls’ 400m where she posted 53.20s, behind Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield (53.09s) and Jisna Matthew (53.14s) of India.

At the last edition of the Games held in China, Team Nigeria with a contingent of 12 athletes was forced to pull out due to discrimination and subsequent quarantine of the athletes owing to the Ebola virus outbreak in some parts of West Africa.

This time around, Team Nigeria went to the Pacific island nation of Samoa with a contingent of 13 athletes in three events (athletics, weightlifting and boxing).

The fifth Commonwealth Youth Olympic Games, which started on September 5, will end tomorrow and Porbeni was optimistic yesterday that Nigeria would pick more medals before the closing ceremony.

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