By Lateef Taiwo
As the Commonwealth Youth Games tagged TRINBAGO 2023, winds off, the Federal Government has applauded its athletes for yet another podium performance.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar in his congratulatory message to the team today
applauded them for picking up 8 medals and lifting the nation to the fifth position on the medals table, even with only 16 athletes representing the country at the tournament.
Alhaji Ismaila explained that “of Nigeria’s 25 man contingent to the Game, sixteen (16) were eventually registered as athletes; and virtually all the eight medals won came from track and field events, which is the traditional mainstay of Nigerian Sports; other than football.”
He added that a “critical look at the final medal table for the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, with emphasis on the nations in the top seven, shows that; Australia which had 84 Athletes, was first and won as many as 26 Gold medals, to record a performance ratio of 30.95%. England, with 65 athletes, won 16 Gold medals, and that gives a performance of about 24%. Scotland, which placed 3rd with 12 Gold medals won by 52 athletes, had a performance ratio of about 23%. South Africa, ranked No 1 in Africa, with 54 athletes, won seven Gold medals, recording a performance ratio of 12.96%, Team Nigeria, No. 2 in Africa with 16 athletes, clinched six Gold medals which represents 40% – the best performance ratio; while Kenya, the 3rd best team from Africa, with 36 Athletes, picked five Gold medals and recorded a performance ratio of 13.95%, to place overall 6th.”
According to him, “coming 2nd in Africa, closely behind South Africa and recording 40% in the competition shows not only the commitment of our athletes in the field of sports but also their desire to lift the nation’s flag high at all international competitions.Thus, they deserve our commendation”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary who affirmed the Federal Government’s satisfaction with the commitment of the nation’s athletes, especially in recent times and at global competitions, expressed optimism that Nigeria is sure to join the commity of renowned sporting nations.
He therefore called on all sports loving Nigerians and relevant stakeholders in the field of sports to join hands with the Federal Government in ensuring that the nation’s teeming youth are provided with opportunities, not only to excel in their chosen sports but also contribute to the socio-economic development of the country in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Government.
The 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), which began in the Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, and ended on Saturday, August 12, 2023; is the seventh edition, but the first since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and ascension of King Charles III.
The competition is open for athletes between ages 14 to 18.