By Onochie Anibeze, in Berlin
With Obinna Metu declining to run the 200m and the ease with which Nigerian athletes are facing the reality of their true position against the best in the world, FLOP is the word for Nigeria here.
And Nigeriaâ€™s current star, Obinna Metu, would have his mind focused on his future than discuss the Nigerian problem. He is young but old enough to tell the Nigerian story. It is a story he says everybody knows and shouldnâ€™t be news any more.
â€œAnybody who says he doesnâ€™t know what our problem is in Nigeria is telling lies. We all know. But why the story has remained the same, from generations long before now to even the future generation, is what one cannot understand. Just look at this place (Hotel Berlin, abode of many countries), it is probably only Nigerians that you are hearing of complaints. We know what the problems are but will not face the truth. Anybody expecting wonders from the Nigerian athletes here is not being fair, he is not facing the truth.â€
Godday James, 400m runner nodded as he spoke. James did not compete in his event following injury from Abuja.
And for not filing out for the 400m flat he stands disqualified for the relays. He appeared not to know this until later yesterday when Eniofok Udo-Obong told him. He would have lined out but scratched through beating the gun or dropping out of the race. In the 200m, Metu was drawn on the same start list with Usain Bolt which was an opportunity to grab global attention. He said he was not feeling fine to compete and dropped out too, missing the same opportunity Egwo Oghere savoured when he ran in the 100m heats.
When Metu bared his heart, he was referring to the way Nigeria prepared for the championship, the shoddy treatment athletes are subjected to in Nigeria, governmentâ€™s lack of interest in funding sports and administering it well, the lack of professionalism in the management of athletes especially during competitions.
The only hope Nigeria had before now was in the women 4x100m relay. But with Gloria Kemasaude out on doping grounds and Blessing Okagbare not 100 per cent fit, the chances of a medal here are dim.