The Commonwealth Games came to a conclusion on Saturday with the relay races dominated by Jamaica while England finished top of the overall medals table ahead of Australia, with host nation Scotland finishing fourth and Team Nigeria ending in a commendable eighth place.
With 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals, Nigeria finished as Africa’s second best competitor at the 20th Commonwealth Ganes behind South Africa that finished with 14 gold, silver and bronze medals in seventh place on the overall medals’ table.
11 gold medals could have been 12 for Nigeria but teenage weightlifter Chika Amalaha got disqualified for violating anti-doping regulations after her A and B-sample tests returned positive for traces diuretics and masking agents.
Amalaha had won the women’s 53kg category with a Games record total of 196kg to become the youngest gold medalist in the event, only to be stripped of the medal and now faces a ban from the International Weightlifting Federation as a result.
It was one of two blots in Team Nigeria’s campaign at the Games, with majority of Nigeria’s medals came from the female athletes as their male counterparts falling short, especially Segun Toriola and Obinna Metu in table tennis and in track and field respectively.
Blessing Okagbare meanwhile was Team Nigeria’s star athlete in Glasgow, picking up three medals in total, winning silver with the 4x100m relay team after becoming only the fourth woman in Commonwealth Games history to win the sprint double.
Okagbare could have won four medals even, but the schedule for the 200m final clashed with the long jump event which she had also entered for. The scheduling conflict ensured a new star shone for Nigeria, as Ese Brume recovered from a poor qualifying mark to win the women’s long jump with a mark of 6.56m.
Nigeria’s other gold medalists include Odunayo Adekuoroye who broke into a native dance after claiming gold in the women’s 53kg freestyle wrestling, Aminat Adeniyi who won in the women’s 58kg freestyle wrestling and Maryam Usman in the women’s +75kg weightlifting.
In all, Team Nigeria’s haul of 35 medals marginally betters the campaign to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India where Nigeria claimed 11 gold, 10 silver and 14 bronze medals.
The next Commonwealth Games will hold in 2018 inGold Coast City, Queensland, Australia from April 4 to 15.
England: 56 55 54 -165
Australia: 45 42 45 – 132
Canada: 31 16 34 – 81
Scotland: 19 14 19 – 52
India: 14 28 19 – 61
New Zealand: 14 12 17 – 43
South Africa: 13 10 16 – 39
Nigeria: 11 11 14 – 36
Kenya: 10 10 5 – 25
Jamaica: 10 4 7 – 21
August 3rd 1936: Jesse Owens wins 100 metre dash
On this day in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, American athlete Jesse Owens won the 100 metre dash, defeating world record holder Ralph Metcalfe. Owens won four gold medals, in the 100 metres, 200 metres, long jump, and 4x100 metre relay, which made him the most successful athlete in the 1936 Games. Germany’s Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler had intended to use the Games to showcase Aryan supremacy, thus the success of African-American Owens was particularly poignant. His success made him a famous figure, but back home in America segregation was still in place. After a ticker-tape parade for him in New York, he had to ride a separate elevator to reach a reception in his honour. It was often said that Hitler snubbed Owens at the Games, refusing to shake his hand, but whilst the racist Hitler was certainly displeased by Owens’s success, these stories may have been exaggerated. In fact, Owens maintains that it was US President Franklin D. Roosevelt who snubbed him, neglecting to congratulate the athlete for his success. Jesse Owens died in 1980 aged 66.
"A lifetime of training for just ten seconds”
- Jesse Owens
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Day two of the Games. Only Nigeria and South Africa in the top ten of the medal table?