Team Nigeria opened her account for medals at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia yesterday with two Silver medals from the Team Event of Table Tennis and Shot Put.
Nigeria’s flagbearer Blessing Okagbare leads the delegation during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO
A power-packed team of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun, and Olajide Omotayo took Nigeria to the podium behind Team India who snatched the Gold.
The Nigerians highly tipped to pluck the Gold, however, succumbed to the superior fire-power of the Indians 3 – 0. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi with a distance throw of 21:14 could not upstage New Zealand’s 21:14 that hit gold and he settled for Silver.
Bode Abiodun started the first game with so much vim and vitality romping into 11 – 4 for the first set. But it was the Indian Achanta Sharath who bounced back to claim the three remaining sets at 11 -5, 11 – 4, 11 – 9.
The second set which many hoped will be Nigeria’s also went to India. Segun Toriola, the most experienced Tennis player from Africa could not find answers to India’s Satiyang Gnanasekaran who towed the line of his compatriot to beat Toriola 3 -1.
When the pair of Olajide Omotayo and Bode Abiodun mounted the table for the the third and last game, it was a huge mountain to climb. They were equally beaten 3-0.
But the defeat brought smiles to the faces of Team Officials who celebrated and welcomed the first medal.
Like a first cut which remains the deepest, Team Nigeria have opened a medal account on a night that was glistening with more medals from other sports. Para- Athletes mount the stage tomorrow with high hopes of more medals – Gold more likely.