Team Nigeria’s quest for medals at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics is yet to take off as two more of her athletes from the 60-man contingent have suffered early exit in Day 1 of action at the Games.
Uche Eke who is the first Nigerian in history to compete in Artistic Gymnastics finished 58th overall. After the three subdivisions were concluded on Saturday, Eke had amassed a points tally of 74.765.
Eke’s best performance came in the third rotation while competing in the vault where he scored 13.433 points, and then put up decent showings on the floor (12.833 points) and the Pommel Horse (12.866 points).
While Eke won a Gold medal in the Pommel Horse two years ago in Rabat at the African Games, Gymnastics at the Olympic Games appears to be on a whole different level.
Nonetheless, Eke, a Computer Science Engineering graduate from the University of Michigan will be proud to have placed Nigeria on the global map as far as gymnastics is concerned.
Also, Olajide Omotayo who recently revealed how he battled depression to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics was stopped in the first round of competition in the men’s table tennis event.
Omotayo succumbed to the superior firepower of Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia in straight games, losing 4-0 in round 1 of the men’s singles.
His defeat came on the heels of Funke Oshonaike’s 4-1 loss to USA’s Juan Liu in the women’s Table Tennis Singles preliminary round match.
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It was not all sad news as Nigeria recorded her first victory in Tokyo on Saturday as Offiong Edem beat Dora Madaraz of Hungary 4-1 to proceed to the second round in the women’s table tennis event.
Edem, ranked 123 beat the 67th-ranked Madaraz 11-8 11-9 11-9 in the first three sets. She lost the fourth set 9-11 but won the fifth deciding set 11-4. In the second round, Edem will face the 30th-ranked American, Lily Zhang on Monday at 4 am Nigeria time.
But there was more heartache for Team Nigeria in Badminton where the duo of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori competed in the Group play stage of the men’s doubles, losing 2-0 (21-2, 21-7) to Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe.