The President of Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Giandomenico Massari, said the sport was growing slowly in the country, affecting the performance of Team Nigeria in the just concluded championship.
Massari disclosed this on Sunday during the closing ceremony of the 2022 African Track Cycling Championship held at Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
According to Massari, they need the latest equipment (bicycle), to attain greater heights and make the country proud in major International competitions.
“Team Nigeria have done well but many things have to be done because we can not compare our performance with other countries.
“When we hosted the Africa Cup championship for the first time in 2019, we (Nigeria) won a total of 51 medals.
“Our contingent was made up of 21 cyclists of both female and male categories .
“We garnered a total of 51 medals made up of 21 Gold, 18 Silver and 12 Bronze medals to emerge champions,” he said.
“Rather this year, we have a contingents of 35 cyclists of both female and male categories; we were able to garner 17 medals, consisting four Gold, seven Sliver and six Bronze medals,” he said.
He said Nigeria did not live up to the expectations of the Federation and the country but hopefully would do more during the next Championships.
“In the championship in 2019, Egypt came second, winning eight Gold, seven Silver and seven Bronze medals
Egypt now are having 26 medals consisting of eight Gold, eight Silver and 10 Bronze medals in the just concluded championship.
He said this showed they were progressing and growing.
” Morocco came third with four gold and three silver medals. Burkina Faso took fourth position with three silver, five bronze whereas Burundi came fifth with two bronze medals.”
Nigeria’s neighbour, Ghana placed sixth with a Bronze medal, while Liberia, Ivory Coast and Benin had no medal.
“It is unfortunate that the country (Nigeria) came fourth place in the 2022 African Track Cycling Championships in Abuja .
“With this outcome, we are growing in a very low speed, compared to other countries that we participated together during the first edition.
“The other African countries have a very good support from government and other bodies that helped and supported them and they are making a good progress compared to Nigeria.
“I think the future is bright for Nigeria in-spite of lots of challenges that we have no resources; we have also achieved at the international levels,” he said .
On his part, Habul Gumel, the president of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), congratulated the federation for successful hosting of the championship.
” I want to thank all cyclists that came to Nigeria and Nigerian cyclists and especially those nations that made it to podium, including Nigeria cyclists.
” I want to congratulate those that won medals and for those that didn’t win medals all of you did well,” he said.
NAN reports Team Nigeria finished with 17 medals, consisting of four Gold, seven Sliver and six Bronze.
The final medal table saw South Africa cycling team finished first and won 42 medals, 20 Gold, 13 Silver and nine Bronze.
Egypt followed with 26 medals: eight Gold, eight Silver and 10 Bronze medal.
Algeria had 17 medals consisting of five Gold, five Sliver and seven Bronze.
Team Nigeria hit 17 medals comprising four Gold, seven Sliver and six Bronze.
Fifteen countries participated including Ghana, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Cote’d Ivoire, Togo, Guinea, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria ( host).
The championship featured 11 events in Sprint, team sprint, Time trials (1km/ 500m), Keirin, team pursuit, Individual pursuit and Scratch, NAN reports that the 2022 African Track Cycling Championship started on Thursday and ended on Sunday.