There should be moderate medal expectations, the Nigerian Olympians have warned their compatriots before the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 2020 Olympics which is rescheduled, holds from July 23 to August 8.
Nigeria so far, have won just one medal (bronze in 2016) at the last two Games.
Even though the country failed to qualify for football and boxing respectively, its preparation for the 2020 Games have left much to be desired, Olympians urged the fans not to be way in over their heads even when there are a lot of the country’s most successful events at the multi-sports showpiece to look forward to.
Isaac Ikhouria who is a retired boxer, a bronze medallist at the 1972 Games in Munich, made a statement saying that winning a medal at the Olympics was not by luck, it mostly deals with the quality of preparation, which he noted, had been lacking in recent years, despite the surplus talents at the country’s disposal.
“In the past, there were plans for athletes preparing for the Olympics, which we don’t have now. You can’t keep athletes till two, three months before the Games and expect them to win an Olympic medal. Even if you take them to the best international tournaments then, they’re not likely to win,” Ikhouria told The PUNCH.
“Winning an Olympic medal is not a matter of luck, and medals at the Olympics will never be won by luck. It takes targeted and adequate preparation.
“The time for preparation should be a minimum of four years for adequate preparation for the Games,” the 73-year-old former national boxing coach added.
The judo representative at the 2004 Games in Athens Cathrine Ekuta, added, “We can’t be doing the same things and expect a different result, I don’t really have much to say about our medal chances.”