Gymnastics: Nigeria shine in South Africa

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Idris Adesina

Nigerian gymnasts won 16 medals at the just-concluded 2018 African International Championships in Pretoria, South Africa.

The team led by coach Anthony Asuquo won four gold, two silver and 10 bronze. Twenty-two gymnasts participated in the competition.

Moferanoluwa Lawal, Yimika Kolade, Mindy Akinola and Aya Avani won gold in their events while Nimishe Sandeep and Morola Lawal won silver.

Geda Liyel-Imoke, Volda Liyel-Imoke and Daval Liyel-Imoke – children of former Cross Rivers State governor – as well as Safiya Tukur, Adila Salisu, Lara Anot, Iseoluwa Babarinde, Amaka Asemota, Daniella Asemota and Tamilore Falayajo won bronze.

In a statement, sports minister Solomon Dalung praised the team.

He said, “We thank God that the gymnastics team are done with the first competition. The country is progressing in the sport. Nigeria recently won three gold, three silver and six bronze medals at the African Age-groups Level Championship.”

“Various sports in Nigeria are taking a new and higher dimension. I believe that with much determination, we will reposition sports and place Nigeria among other global sports competitors across the world.”

The country will participate in the Regional and Junior Olympics level competition from August 3 to 5 in South Africa and Dalung believes they will do better than they did at the last edition.

“The Nigerian team came out tops in the last edition of the championship but I believe that coach Asuquo will lead the team to an even better outing this time. We are expecting them to bring back more medals this year,” he said.

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