Beijing 2008 women 4x100m bronze medalist, Halimat Ismaila said that the 2010 Commonwealth Games will be the last competition she would represent Nigeria.
Halimat revealed that she is taking a bow from athletics and focussing on her career as a science student. This is with the hope of graduating with honours and then in the long run , make something good out her life, rather than pursue a course that is not gratifying, morally and financially.
To demonstrate her intent to quit, the University of Texas El Paso undergraduate said that she is skipping the World Indoor Championships next week in Doha, Qatar, because she forfeited a class to attend the World Championships last year in Berlin, Germany but, according to her, nothing came out if.
â€œIâ€™m not going to Doha. This is because as a science student, I cannot jeopardise my studies this time around.
â€œI forfeited a class last year to attend Berlin not knowing that it was not worth it,â€ said the Kwara-born athlete.
She added that Nigeria as a country has not been kind to her athletes and so many have ended up in a heap of frustration with nothing to fall back on.
â€œI have been doing track and field for the nine years. And all of that time it has always been complaints.
â€œI have heard athletes complaining when I started running. The situation is just getting worst all the time, Nigeria is not just worth the stress.
â€œEven here at UTEP, we are well appreciated for being good ambassadors. Do you know that after winning bronze for Nigeria at the Beijing 2008 Olympics with our sweat and blood, not even a thank you came from Nigeria?
â€œI know what my school mates from other countries got for just being at the Olympics and coming back home, without a medal. This is why I am taking a break in the summer to face my studies,â€ said the athlete.
She advised up and coming athletes and her colleagues to take their education seriously, because at the end of the day when track and field is over there would be something to carry on with.
â€œI just pity those who see sports as a way to make ends meet. They should consider education first, because sports in Nigeria is not profitable.
â€œThat is why those in Nigeria with talents for sport will never show up. What they hear from us older athletes is not very encouraging.â€