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How Nigeria ‘lost’ 2 Olympics gold medals

The Olympics and World Records book says Nigeria has only won two gold medals in 15 outings, but that figure could have easily been four.

Daniel Igali was the captain of the Nigerian wrestling team and he represented the country at the 1994 Commonwealth games in Victoria, Canada.

The wrestler, who is now 42 years old was accepted as a refugee in Canada with his reason for leaving Nigeria being the political unrest in the country at that time.

He became a citizen of the European country in 1998 and went on to win a gold medal at the 1999 World Championship.

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In 2000, he won another gold medal for freestyle wrestling at the Olympic games in Sydney. The Bayelsa born athlete is currently the president of the Nigerian National Wrestling Association.

Nigeria’s gold medals have come from Chioma Ajunwa for long jump at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the Dream team for football in the same year.

Emmanuel Amuneke scored a goal during the injury time to secure a victory over Argentina and the team secured the first gold medal in football for an African country in the Olympics.

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Despite the assurance by President Muhammadu Buhari that the funds budgeted for the Rio Olympics would be released promptly, some athletes have sought help from the public to get flight tickets.

Solomon Dalung, minister for Youth and Sports, has promised to investigate the matter, claiming that the message that athletes are responsible for flight tickets is false.

Whether poor athlete management or political unrest, Nigeria should be showing off four gold medals and not two.

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