An athletics statistician, Olalekan Soetan, on Monday commended Team Nigeria’s performance at the just-concluded 21st African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, saying they lived up to expectations.
Soetan, who was reacting to Nigeria’s third position on the medals table in Lagos said that true to their pre-championship boasts, Kenya won the Championships which ended on Sunday.
The Kenyans, who hosted and won the 19th edition in 2014, defeated defending champions, South Africa and host, Nigeria, to the second and third positions respectively.
They had to their credits 19 medals, made up of 11 gold, six silver and two bronze.
South Africa, which hosted and won the last edition in Durban, won a total of 30 medals, including nine gold, 13 silver and eight bronze.
Team Nigeria got 19 medals made up of nine gold, five silver and five bronze.
Morocco, Ethiopia, Cote d’ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana followed in that order.
Soetan said, “Team Nigeria, no doubt lived up to expectations by winning the projected gold medals, missed that of women’s hammer throw but gained one back from Discus women”.
Soetan had in May tipped that Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa would be the top contenders at the competition which held from Aug. 1 to Aug.5.
He had said that judging from Nigeria’s athletes’ performance locally and internationally, he was optimistic the country would slug it out with the South Africans and Kenyans.
“The African championships is going to be a straight battle between Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria for sure.
“They are ahead based on their current top athletes’ overall performances but we are closing in, and that’s the truth,” he said.
Soetan also said that with the crop of young athletes representing the country at various competitions, Nigeria would regain its lost glory in athletics.