Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The first gold for Nigeria..

Ahead of the Super Eagles' Gold (who knows?), Christine Ohuruogu won the women's 400M just now. Just think how well Nigeria would do if sport was taken seriously in the motherland.

There's probably a few sub 9.6 guys wandering around without a sports track in sight, just as there's probably a few guys who could be in the NBA if there was a hoop or two in town.

As it is, there's a woman of Nigerian heritage in the UK who's just beat the world's best..


Anonymous,  4:20 pm  

Well done ... Christine. Her heritage is Nigerian but she is clearly British.... She was never really a home based talent who left home out of frustration. GB has always been her base.

onydchic 4:24 pm  

Wow. What a misleading. I thought you meant she was running for Nigeria.

internationalhome 4:54 pm  

Jeremy I'm sure your "black" British people would not be pleased if they saw your rather testy header...Of course, you're only saying out loud what other "real" British people are thinking...check the BBC message boards...

Anonymous,  5:03 pm  

better than bballers aiming for the NBA, we need to create out own NBA in nigeria to keep these guys home

Florence Kayemba 5:04 pm  

Well, while we are still at it..at least Dream Team Four has raised our hopes of winning a gold medal at these events. The match with Belgium this morning was fantastic; we beat Belgium 3-1 but we are up a really strong team..Argentina. This is the second time the two teams are meeting each other at a major international event ; the first time was in 2005 during the World Youth Championship in Holland. They beat us 2-1. I wonder, will history repeat itself?

Jeremy 5:07 pm  

Changed the wording to 'woman of Nigerian heritage' to avoid being cobbled together with the kind of people who think all black people in the UK are foreigners.

I hope my point even in the original wording was clear: Nigeria could do a lot better in sporting events if there was better governance and infrastructure development...

Florence Kayemba 5:07 pm  

Oh dear..ma bad the score was 4-1 (Nigeria Vs Belgium).. signs of having a long day..lol

Jaycee 6:02 pm  

Permit me to use some of your words here on a Nigerian group (feel free to send me a message otherwise).


anonymaus,  6:03 pm  

Finally Jeremy, it's been ages. The Olympics are into it's second week and this your first concession to acknowledge that it's on.

First and foremost well done Christine, second she's British (she wisely opted to represent Great Britain), there are a number of Britons of Nigerian heritage in the team, Onochie (Larry) Achike, Phillips Idowu, Anyika Onuora, and Marilyn Okoro.

Nigeria, always likes to take the easy path. The Government and people have to realise there is no short cut to success (the sports field included). You have to spend money on your athletes and stick with them through thick and thin and plan way in advance (these attributes are sorely lacking at government level), not treat them like crap witness the abandonment of Nigeria by Obikwelu and Alozie. You have to give them a genuine reason to want to represent Nigeria, other than a photo opportunity of shaking the presidents hand, ie real cash. For those based at home, offer the enticement of paid study abroad and some real cash (paid in foreign currency). You can't expect someone with only 3-6 months serious training to realistically compete against someone who has 4 years or more of serious training, it's unrealistic and unfair, (on the competitor with less experience)

Nigeria is burdened with a large and poorly maintained society. The population is predominantly young. As you pointed out there are so many opportunities that people could excel, if the authorities there would seriously pull their finger out and do things properly.

Sub 9.6 with no training, highly unlikely, with training and support, possibly. Did you know Jamica's Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt are based in Jamaica with Jamaican coaches, so they didnt' feel the need to live in Florida or New York, maybe a model Nigeria could follow or incorporate into their own unique model, if they are wise enough.

I'd like to include this story, it's about a Camerounian lady I was impressed at what she achieved with no professional coach (for athletics) she has completed her exams, delivered a bouncing baby boy and defended her triple jump title, Mrs Francoise Mbango Etone. You don't need media hype to succeed. A very ordinary women in many respects juggling all that life has placed in her hands and successfully too, such a wonderful story. she has a great sounding name too!


Go team GB!! :-)

anonymaus,  6:26 pm  

@ anonymous at 4.20 pm, what is wrong with athletes based abroad, opting to represent the country of their choice?

If there is a problem with that, then Africa would have even fewer medals. People should be glad that those based abroad still opt represent their homelands. I don't see the problem with that.

Look at the Greeks at the Athens olympics, a considerable number of them were drawn from the diaspora, no one had a a problem with that.

Have a read of this article, it's very short and makes many good points.


Anonymous,  6:51 pm  

If Christine Ohuruogu was born and raised in Nigeria its more than likely that she would not be doing as well as she's doing now. Its not the shortage of talent that is the problem, its the almost complete absence of development programmes for athletes. The infracture can always be put in place when there is are systematic methods designed to scout for talent, groom the talent and support the development of these talented individuals. This is what the Jamaicans have been able to do.

naijalines 6:59 pm  

Well said, Jeremy. I saw her and felt some pride...for Nigeria and for Britain too.

Nkem 8:23 pm  

Gold no. 1, gold no. 2 should come from Phillips Idowu, who's favourite to win the triple jump.

Anonymous,  11:26 pm  

Err, hello, Jeremy. Potential NBA players louching around, wasting talent - pots & kettles!


(for those who have not met Jeremy, he's 6'7" and wears size 14's - and no jokes about what having big feet indicates, please. This is a family-friendly blog. thank-you.)

Afolabi 3:57 am  

i'm tired of acknowledging the achievements of people from other countries to Nigeria's successes, just because they are of Nigerian heritage.I don't know about Christine, but some of these people we love to boast about, haven't even being to Nigeria or connect to it.


ok if u guys are look for som1 to be proud of, check out Chika Chukumerije..hez representing Nigeria in Taekwondo as I type this, hez nigerian born and raised and is in Beijing slugging it out, instead of having this debates, go support him abeg!

Anonymous,  2:52 pm  

It's good that the name says it all ... and just like Donovan Bailey, Linford Christie et al have inspired the Bolts and Powells, maybe a clutch of Nigerian youngsters will be similarly inspired

BK,  3:00 pm  

funnily enough if the ban hadn't been lifted on her, she was going to run for Nigeria.

Anonymous,  4:16 pm  

As it is, there's a woman of Nigerian heritage in the UK who's just beat the world's best..

i think you mean "who IS the worlds best".

Patrice,  5:32 pm  

The title of your post is misleading. It is not "gold for Nigeria", it is gold for Great Britain. Christine Ohuruogu was born, raised and educated in London and trains there too.

A question for you Jeremy. Why do England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fall under the flag of Great Britain at Olympic Games but compete as seperate nations at the World Cup (if they qualify), the Commonwealth Games and other big international competitions?

Jeremy 5:41 pm  

Patrice the title of the post was most deliberate. The aim was to provoke discussion on national identity and sport generally, and more specifically, on the fault-line between alternative identities that this particular Gold medal represents. How much does Nigeria claim Christine as her own? How much does Christine claim a Nigerian identity for herself? She was, as a commentor above pointed out, considering running for Nigeria if turned down by the UK. How much does she simply represent another British athlete winning an award?

On the issue of GB, England, Scotland etc. at the Olympics vs at the World Cup etc its a long and complicated history. The simple answer however is that football, rugby and cricket have always been sports that attract strong local identity formations - fans who group around their local 'team'. There is therefore a bottom-up identity formation that rises only so far as it needs to: from Man U you go on to support the next level up: England, from Warwickshire you go on to support England at the cricket etc. Olympic sports by and large have never been as localised and specific in their fan bases. Therefore, there is more of a top-down identity formation (starting with the most abstract form of identity - team GB in the case of the Olympics).

Of course, it would make more sense if there could be British football, cricket and rugby teams (we'd win everything!) but you can't always get what you want...

Anonymous,  6:31 pm  

Lamentably, that's the story of our "Great" country - unrealised potentials.
I have found myself wondering aloud during such events as rowing and swimming where all the Niger Deltans were. Surely, we do have talents that can compete with the world's best in such events, don't we?
It's such a shame that our leaders are so short sighted and selfish.

Patrice,  7:30 pm  

@Jeremy - Your point is well taken. But what of a country like the USA, which rarely has any indigenous athletes in the Olympics. Would you title a post "Michael Phelps wins 8 golds for Denmark" (or Sweden - not sure of the origin of his name). My point is, when do you raise such a question and when do you leave it alone? If Christine were second, third or, say, sixth generation British would you ask the same question?

Thanks for the information on Great Britain in international competition. I have always wondered why Great Britain can send its 'nations' to events that I thought were meant only for countries to compete in. I still don't understand.

half past crazy,  8:38 pm  

She's British. And she's a drugs cheat.

End of.

mizchif 10:10 pm  

OMO, see muscle!

Lost at the Other End of the World 8:12 am  

"The aim was to provoke discussion on national identity and sport generally, and more specifically, on the fault-line between alternative identities that this particular Gold medal represents."

Haba Jeremy,

These are the prattles of a cornered man. The moment dem catch am, e begin speak big-big grammar: "national identity," "fault-line," and so on an so forth. No be only "fault-line," e go soon be Edo Line too.

Anengiyefa 11:52 am  

half past crazy said...
She's British. And she's a drugs cheat.

End of.

I havent heard anything more offensive in recent times. A drugs cheat is one who has failed a drugs test. Christine was never tested, so calling her a drugs cheat is totally out of order.

To the anonymous who said that Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt were inspired by the likes of Donovan Bailey and Linford Christie, I say this; that mere inspiration without grooming and development support is not enough to achieve what Usain Bolt, Shelley-Ann Fraser, Veronica Campbell, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Melaine Walker all of Jamaica have acheived at the Olympic Games. They were better prepared than everybody else, and the results prove it. And lets not forget that the athlete who came a close second in Christine Ohuruogu's race, Shericka Williams is also a Jamaican.

Jamaica is doing the right things. Lets learn from them.

Waffarian 2:46 pm  

where is the long assed comment i left here? chei!

half past crazy,  3:17 pm  

"I havent heard anything more offensive in recent times. A drugs cheat is one who has failed a drugs test. Christine was never tested, so calling her a drugs cheat is totally out of order."

Anengiyefa, there's nothing offensive about what I said. Ohuruogu is a drugs cheat. I didn't say she failed a drugs test. It's like someone standing up in court and saying, "Your honor, I'm not a thief. I never got a chance to spend the money I took."

If you miss one drugs test, you're probably a cheat, but there's a small chance you honestly forgot (though, notice, no one ever forgets to show up for a race or match). If you miss two drugs tests, you're almost certainly a cheat. If you miss THREE as Ohuruogu has done, it's a certainty you're using illegal substances, and you should be banned from the sport for life and, for sure, you shouldn't be given the chance to win an Olympic Gold.

She's British. That's her choice. She's also a cheat. That, too, is her choice. Nothing concern Nigeria for this one.

Anengiyefa 3:45 pm  

@ half past crazy said... youre wrong, because a court has examined the evidence and decided that Ohuruogu's missing the drugs tests was inadvertent. She was never tested and found to be positive. To be a cheat you must have taken drugs or deliberately failed to attend for a test, neither of which applied to Christine. Get off your high horse. The lady deserves all the glory she has earned.

anonymaus,  6:04 pm  

In response to ..."Jamaica is doing the right things. Lets learn from them."

Check out this link, an informative insight, I believe as to how Jamaica is shining at the 2008 Beijing olympics.


anonymaus,  6:25 pm  

n Africa, Nigeria is one of the few countries with potential to be a sporting powerhouse — it has 140 million citizens and billions of dollars yearly in oil revenues. But the corruption and mismanagement that have left the country impoverished also have undermined its sports infrastructure.

Many of Nigeria's top athletes live abroad and don't train regularly with their teammates. What training facilities do exist in Nigeria are substandard.

Top Olympic officials had to step in earlier this year to ban numerous doctors and dignitaries angling to get a government-paid trip to Beijing. At some past Olympics, officials outnumbered competitors.

Taken from http://news.realclearsports.com

Chi-Chi 6:47 am  

I wish I caught this moment on TV. She did great!

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