19 August 2016
For Nigeria’s female weightlifting star, Maryam Usman, it is time to call it quit with Nigeria.
The 25 years old weightlifter recently lamented the lack of adequate preparation for the Olympics stating that she has lost the urge to represent Nigeria at international events.
The Commonwealth medalist admitted that she felt better when preparing for the 2012 Games than in 2016.
Mariam was the only female weightlifter that represented Nigeria in Rio where she competed in the +75 category and amassed 265 kg which ensured she finished 8th in her group.
“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.
“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 said.
The Kaduna State-born athlete who became professional in 2007 also complained about the non-existent training before the Olympics while she said her counterparts from other countries who were competing in Brazil had been training for three to four years.
“Olympic gold medal doesn’t come cheap. 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,” she added.
Maryam Usman is the current African Champion. She won Overall Silver at the 2007 All-Africa Games and Overall Gold at the 2008 African Championships. Maryam participated in her first Olympics in 2008 when she competed in the +75 kg category finishing fifth with 265 kg, with a total of 248 kg.
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.