Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Jonathan wants five gold medals from Rio Olympics – Abdullahi

The Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, has revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan is targeting five gold medals from Rio 2016
Olympics despite the abysmal
failure of Team Nigeria at London
2012 Olympics.
Nigeria finished the London
Games as one the worst teams,
failing to win any medal but
Abdullahi said on Channels
Television on Wednesday that
Jonathan wants an early
preparation for the next Games
and expects no fewer than five
“Mr. President believes if we start
to work now we can win five
gold medals in Rio in 2016. If we
start to work towards that
target, we may or may not meet
it, but we must begin now to
work towards it and believe it is
possible,” Abdullahi said.
“It seems we’re under pressure
now; everybody is angry and
outraged. But we must resist the
temptation for reflex action. We
can’t just start doing things
because we want people to see
that we’re responding to stimuli.
That’ll be wrong and won’t be
“What we need to do is to be
very deliberate and conscious
about what we need to do.
There’s not going to be an easy
solution, there’s not going to be
a quick fix. What we’re talking
about (emerged) from many
years of decay and collapse.
Whatever we do now, we must
begin to show result in two
years time. That is why it is very
good for us that the
Commonwealth Games will be
coming up in 2014 and we can
use that to re-launch for the
2016 Games.
“We shouldn’t forget that football
is very critical in Nigeria. We have
the Nations Cup coming up in
January in South Africa in 2013
and the World Cup in 2014. All
these will provide the
opportunity for us to begin to
rebuild. If we begin today to
identify children and talent that
can compete well with the right
age and exposure, I think we can
get them ready for Brazil .
“In Olympic term four years are
nothing; we’re actually thinking
of an eight-year plan. Some of
the countries that did very well in
London have already started
preparing. We have to start now.
We’re considering giving priority
to sports that will give us the
opportunity to excel and
apportion our resources along
those lines in short and medium
term measures.
“We have to go back to the
system that allows us to discover
talents; the system that allows us
to nurture them and allows us to
give them the right exposure.”
Abdullahi said he planned to
reconnect the National Sports
Commission to the state
governments and make the
various sports federation more
effective in terms of funding
sports and discovering talents at
the grass roots.

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