RIO OLYMPICS: I Will Never Represent Nigeria Again – Weightlifter

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Nigerian weightlifter Mariam Usman has revealed that she will never represent Nigeria at international competitions following the ill treatment and poor preparation for the Rio Olympics.

The Commonwealth medallist in the +75kg in weightlifting says she felt better when preparing for the 2012 games but felt the 2016 games were a no brainier for her.

“It is painful to come to the Olympics and see people who are your contemporaries perform better than you; not because you lack the ability but because you were not prepared like them,” she said, while speaking to reporters at the Games Village in Rio.

She added: “For me, it is not just about jumping unto the plane every four years to go to the Olympics. Every athlete you see here wants to step on the podium. If you can’t aim to climb up there, you have no business coming to the Olympics. I can only consider going to another Olympics if things change for the better. But if the status quo is maintained, I don’t think I will go to another Olympics again.”

She lamented how she was never given proper equipment for the games or prepared with modern equipment. “Olympic gold medal doesn’t come cheap,” she said.

“It is painful that one has to suffer and when competition comes they expect you to win a medal with your blood. “The people you have to compete with had everything they needed: training grants, competitions and are exposed to the most modern equipment. I had nothing. You don’t expect such people who have invested so much to lose to one who don’t even train adequately.”

Comparing the 2012 Olympics to the 2016 edition, she said: “Yes, I feel 2012 was better. I had better training and my result was better. This time nothing was done to better one’s performance.”

Mariam Usman was the only weightlifter that represented Nigeria at the Rio Olympics. She competed in the +75 category and amassed 265 kg. She finished 8th in her group.


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•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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