CHAMPION STUFF……Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu celebrates after winning the 400m final at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 12. PHOTO: AFP
Nigerian-born British former Olympic and double world champion in the women 400m, Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu is at a loss why Nigerian athletes have continued to endure hard times and as a result produce poor results at international meets.
This is just as athletes of Nigerian descent are doing exceedingly well with the respective countries that they have chosen to represent.
“Many Nigerian athletes are my friends and I know what they are going through. From what I see, it is all about football… The Super Eagles do well because they (government) invest in them, they make them feel good, they don’t put anything in there that makes them have problems.
“In the UK as an athlete they give me everything I want. I guess it boils down to how people care about the sport, it is a bit of shame if you don’t invest in it. The government cannot complain that the Nigerian athletes are not producing results.
“It is not just enough to be training as an athlete. There has to be some support in form of grants and sponsorship and if that is not coming there is always going to be difficulties.
“I have spoken to those who defected to other countries and they were rather comfortable with their choice.
“I was pained that Nigeria did not win a medal at the 2012 Olympics. It is good in the sense that they now have to plan and see how things could be better at the Rio Olympics.
“In my own little way I will see how I can help,” Ohuruogu said while on a brief visit to Lagos on Thursday. She disclosed that the 2014 Common-wealth Games was not her priority even as her closest rival, Amantle Montsho of Botswana is looking forward to taking her pound of flesh after Ohuruogu denied her the gold at the 2013 World Championships in Russia, Moscow. Ohuruogu stated that she is rather preparing for the 2015 Worlds and the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“In Glasgow, I don’t think I will relax. I learned a lot last year at the World Championships. I am working harder than last year to defend my title,” said Montsho who won in New Delhi 2010 with 50.01seconds. Ohuruogu was not there.
“I am looking forward to Glasgow as I am the Commonwealth record holder and Commonwealth champion, so I would like to defend my title this year.
Montsho will be there, and if Ohuruogu lines up against her in the 400m it will be one battle worth watching this summer.