Nigeria won 12 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The women won each and every one of them.
The World Athletics Championships yielded two medals, one gold and one bronze.
The female athletes won both. This year there have been two Nations Cup tournaments and two World Cup qualifiers. The men did not advance to the semifinals and thus did not earn a World Cup ticket; the women advanced to the semifinals and with it, a ticket to the World Cup.
It was once said that it is a man’s world, but in Nigerian sports, it is a woman’s world.
Why are women outperforming their male counterparts so dramatically? A woman is the first Nigerian world champion and world record holder.
Shouldn’t the goal be a female president in 2023? That’s just a side note!
In 2022, four major international senior sports tournaments have been held. The CAF Nations Cup in January, the Women’s Nations Cup in July, the World Athletics Championships in July and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which concluded on Monday 8 August.
A clear message from the athletes’ exploits is that Nigerian women have saved the country from international embarrassment and embarrassment.
Sani Ndanusa, a former president of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, told PREMIUM TIMES in London that he thinks it could be a case of dedication. “I think the females have been more dedicated,” although there is no scientific evidence to support her claim.
“That’s a challenge for the men, to get up to the game, improve their game and increase their focus, training and commitment to the game.”
For former hurdler Orode Oyiki, it could just be a stage. “The fact is that each nation is blessed with talents in different periods. There was a time when Jamaican men were more dominant than their female counterparts. Today, they are his women at Track & Field.”
Oyiki inferred that Nigerian women are more resilient than men and therefore thrive better in adverse conditions. “Our women have fared better under the difficulties we are currently experiencing.”
Despite this, Oyiki added: “However, our men need support. Women always receive preferential treatment over men. We do not have any data to support this claim.
Although Oyiki expects things to change quickly for the men. “However, we have a group of talented young people who will blossom sooner rather than later,” adding that “the progress of a country’s sports is directly related to the country’s economic fortunes.
“We need funds to build sports facilities, train coaches and manage athletes.”
Semiu Osho, a London-based Nigerian journalist, pointed to the get-rich-quick mentality that has plagued Nigeria’s male demographic as the main cause of the decline.
“In terms of developing new talent, Nigeria faces many challenges with young men finding more attractive in get-rich-quick schemes, including fraud and internet crime.
“It is a combination of factors, including years of poor leadership in government and also family values. Our women, however, continue to show their indomitable spirit through thick and thin by committing to long-term efforts and training to achieve greater sporting goals rather than short-term ambitions.”
A sports psychologist, Robinson Okosun, told PREMIUM TIMES that it is neither here nor there.
“Whatever a man can do, a woman can do better,” Okosun joked. “The story of women’s dominance in sports is not primarily a Nigerian case. “If you look back to the 1980s, Nigerian men dominated the headlines in sprints and you can look to Jamaica to back up that fact. Jamaican women are dominating sprints right now compared to the Usain Bolt era.
“The real question we must ask ourselves is the apparent abandonment of the sports development program in the country. Before there was a synergy between the Ministry of Sports, Education and the State Sports Councils. I am a product of that synergy since I played volleyball from a very young age until college. [level] before earning a Ph.D. in Sports Psychology.
“That women are doing better now is not the result of a concerted Nigerian agenda. About 99% of our team members are abroad,” Mr. Okosun added.
The rewards do not favor women.
Even though women are outperforming men in many sports, female athletes are still paid less than men, especially in soccer.
The Super Eagles, for example, receive a $10,000 winning bonus, while the Falcons receive $3,000. To get their assignments, the Falcons had to go on strike in Morocco before the third-place game at WAFCON.
This was not the first time the women’s soccer team has had to take drastic action to collect their fair share from the authorities.
But Ndanusa revealed: “There is no favoritism in the training and development of athletes. If you look at the prize money, sometimes the men’s events get more than the women’s, but now it’s different. It has stabilized and we insist that it must be the same”.
Whatever the inferences and assumptions, Nigerian female athletes are currently shining the brightest, but we expect the men to have their day in the sun very soon.
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