As Nigerians still seethe with anger over the poor preparation Team Nigeria athletes had which resulted in their woeful outing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil last, Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung may further infuriate them with his latest claim that athletes don’t need too much preparation to excel in competitions. Speaking yesterday on Brila FM radio monitored in Lagos in the wake of the sterling performance posted so far by Team Nigeria athletes at the on-going Paralympic Games also in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dalung said the Paralympic athletes also had bad preparations like their able bodied athletes but are doing better in Brazil.
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According to Dalung, “the disabled athletes have shown that all you need is a winning mentality and not too much preparation, they train-ed under the same condition with their able bodied counterparts but they are winning medals now.” However, Commonwealth champion, Odunayo Adekuruoye also speaking on the same programme countered the minister, saying that there is no way an athlete who trained for a month or two could do well or think of winning a medal as she apologised to her fans for failing them at the Olympics.
“It is not possible to win a medal with one or two months training. We had looked forward to good training and hoped to do well at the Olympics. I want to apologise to Nigerians who had looked up to me for a medal,” she said. The publicity-seeking sports minister who had kept sealed lips following the poor outing at the Rio Olympics jerked back to his usual self ostensibly because of the performance of the Paralympic athletes who have garnered a total of nine medals consisting six gold, two silver and one bronze.