By Ben Efe
Hurdler Glory Onome Nathaniel has called on Nigerian sports officials, to put the country and her athletes first, rather than pursue their own interests.
Nathaniel, who made her debut at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships, observed that one of the reasons Nigeria found it hard to win medals was because coaches and sports officials, are not often mindful of athletes’ welfare. The athlete who ran a personal best of 55.30 seconds in the 400m hurdles, and helped the Nigerian 4x400m relay team to a place in the final stated that Nigerian athletes have had to cope with difficult conditions whenever they represented the country at international meets.
“We could have done better, if conditions in Nigerian camp where okay. For instance, my coach was not at London 2017; for me it was a psychological blow.
“This is because while warming up for my race with the hurdles there was nobody to tell me what I was doing right or wrong. I had to call him back in Nigeria on phone and he was telling me what to do.
“Meanwhile other athletes were there with their coaches, masseur and doctors; the Nigerian athletes had none. Why they decided to leave coaches who could have helped us behind remains a mystery to me,” said the up and coming athlete.
She revealed her frustration on Nigeria’s inability to clinch a medal in the women 4x400m.
“We did all there is to be done to put ourselves in the final, only for us not to win a medal. Our team efforts in the semi-final was good enough for silver.
“If we have to move our sport forward we must eschew personal interests and put the nation first. We expected radical changes to how athletics is run in this country.”