By Muhyideen Jimoh
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has pledged to ensure Nigeria wins gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and break the jinx of not winning gold medals since Sydney 2000.
The minister made the pledge in an interview after receiving the Team Nigeria contingent which participated in the 12th African Games at Morocco.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Team Nigeria arrived in Abuja on Sunday evening after finishing second overall at the just-concluded African Games in Rabat.
The minister who commended the contingent for a job well done promised to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure Nigeria wins gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This is a team of champions. Members of the team have been professional and committed. In spite of all odds, they came out tops just behind Egypt on the medals table.
“The result of Morocco signposts what is going to happen at Tokyo Olympics, We will go there and win not just one gold, but gold medals by the grace of God.
“This is a team that is very inspiring and we intend to keep them together, ” he said.
NAN reports that Nigeria last won an Olympic gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the men’s 4x400m, though it was formally awarded to Nigeria eight years later due to Team USA’s disqualification on doping grounds.
Nigeria has been participating in the Olympics since 1952, but it only won its first gold medals at Atlanta in 1996 in football and long jump.
The country has won three gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals since then.
At the last Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Nigeria managed to win just a bronze medal in the football event.
The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to hold from July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020.