By Ben Efe
Just as President Goodluck Jonathan is set to present the retrieved Sydney 2000 Olympics 4x400m gold medals to the Nigerian quartet, a member of the team, Enefiok Udo-Obong has expressed regrets that late Sunday Bada was not alive to share in the moment of glory.
The Nigerian team was elevated to the status of gold-medalists by the International Olympics Committee, after the United States of America was stripped of the gold following doping confession by Antonio Petgrew, a member of the US team.
Athletics enthusiasts no doubt, will still recall the bravado of the Nigerian team anchored by Udo-Obong who came from a disadvantaged position to overhaul Jamaica and Bahamas to clinch silver behind the USA.
President Jonathan will receive the team on Wednesday July 19 at the Aso Rock Villa after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
“Bada will not be there in person to collect his medal. He was our leader and it is sad that he will not share in this moment of glory with us,” said Odo-Obong of the late former Athletics Federation of Nigeria technical director and a long standing athlete.
Bada died in late December of 2011 after a brief illness. “Hopefully we will have full representation of late Bada by his wife or a member of his family, the AFN should be working on that,”he said.
Odo-Obong submitted that it was a surprise that the President will be receiving the team and he is already looking forward to the largesse that will likely follow.
“It is a pleasant surprise we are being hosted by the President. It is even a double joy for us that after all these 12 years we are getting the gold medal.
This should serve as a motivation for not only our quarter-milers, but to all our athletes in general that they should aspire to achieve success in track and field because they will always get the desired recognition,”Udo-Obong enthused.
The victorious quartet include Clement Chukwu who started, handed over to Jude Monye and then Bada and Odo-Obong. The reserves are Fidelis Gazama and Nduka Awazie. The former athletes are expected to arrive from their bases on Monday.