When Team Nigeria officials count their blessings in the ongoing XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, much of the plaudits would no doubt be going to women for making Nigerians walk with their noses in front.
As it was in the beginning, Nigerian women have been in the vanguard of amassing medals at events more than their male counterparts and the Glasgow Games is not different. They carry the banner here and remain a priceless treasure of Team Nigeria.
Former African record holder Mary Onyali could not help but to laugh when asked why the trend has always been like this.
‘’The Ladies are on top. Women are easier to coach than the men. Men are hard to coach and to convince.
It’s a natural thing. Men have been under our shadows for a long time. It is like taking a horse to the stream.
It is difficult to force it to drink water. We’ve been supporting our male counterparts morally and financially and yet they are not hungry enough to pull their worth.
They need to put their acts together. They need to wake up!”, Onyali who has been an inspiration to the emerging force of women led by Blessing Okagbare said.
Weightlifting coach Emmanuel Oshomah who also led Maryam Usman to win gold here, agrees that women have done better than the men in Glasgow because they are disciplined.
‘’It has to do with the level of discipline and endurance. There are things that women cannot do for a long time. It is not so with men. It is natural. Also, the elasticity level of women are better than that of the men. Women tend to start sports earlier than men.
This is so because men want to be independent before embracing sports. And when they enter at old age, once they sustain injury, it takes longer to heal because of age. Don’t forget that men are always fending for themselves”, Oshomah said.
A break-down of Team Nigeria’s medals shows that women have won seven gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals while men have won no gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze medals.
The amazons who won gold include; Blessing Okagbare 2 gold(100m and 200m), Ese Brume(Long Jump gold), Adesanmi Oluwatoyin(Weightlifting), Usman Maryam(Weightlifting), Adekuoroye Odunayo(Wrestling), and Adeniyi Aminat.
The women who won silver are Winifred Ndidi(Weightlifting), Okoli Obioma(Weightlifting), and Ebireguesele Itohan(Weightlifting).
The men who got silver medals are Ayenuwa Yinka(Weightlifting), Dick Abibo(Wrestling) and Welson Ebikewenimo(Wrestling).
Six men won bronze while five women won bronze.
The strength of women lies in endurance and patience. Women quietly keep working, overcoming obstacles, learning, growing, until they reach their goal. But even today, many males are threatened by strong women.