By Emmanuel Afonne
Some athletes participating in the ongoing Nigeria Police Games in Awka, Anambra say they are eager and desperate to win gold medals at the sports fiesta to enable them to be promoted.
The athletes who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at various venues of the ongoing event in Awka, noted that majority of their counterparts were promoted after they won gold at the last edition.
George Lucky representing Zone 12 in Kick-boxing said he missed out in the last merit promotion because he did not win gold.
“I won bronze medal in the 2008 Police Games and I was not promoted when those that won gold medals from all the zones benefitted from it.
“Since that time, I have not had the opportunity to participate until this edition and I have trained very hard for gold.
“I am desperate to get promotion by winning a gold medal and I am mentally and physically prepared for it,” Lucky said.
He commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr Adamu Abubakar, for ensuring that the Games were organised, noting that it would encourage and prepare them for international competitions.
Lucky said: “I just want to appeal to the IGP to encourage those that won gold medal with promotion.”
A cyclist, Moses Adodo, said he had benefitted a lot from the Police Games and hoped to earn fresh promotion after the ongoing games.
Adodo said he had so far won 62 medals from the previous games.
The Chairman, Police Cycling Team, CSP Abbas Abdullahi, pleaded with the IGP to increase the prize money to N100 million and N50 million worth of equipment.
Abdullahi noted that such gesture would make the tournament more competitive and serve as enough motivation for athletes.
“Our request to the police authority is that there should be reward in Games of this magnitude.
“For us to have befitting Games in the next edition, I don’t think a reward of N100 million will be too much for the winning zone and N50 million worth of equipment.
“If every zonal command approaches the Games with the mentality of grabbing such mouth-watering winning reward and equipment, it will not only heighten the level of preparation but raise the bar for the tournament.
“The reward for the individual medallists has not been made known yet but if the reward is just to win a medal, it is certainly not enough,” he said.
According to Abdullahi, the challenges facing cycling are enormous and must be confronted headlong.
“First is the issue of lack of recognition; I don’t think we have given cycling the priority it deserves.
“The civil engineers have not taken note that they should accommodate cyclists in building roads.
“Again and more importantly, the cyclists need financial assistance to procure bicycles because it is very expensive.
“Most of the bicycles we are using are already outdated but to upgrade them, one of it cost over 3000 dollars.
“This means that to have a modern bicycle, a cyclist needs over two million naira; the question is: how can a salary earner get such amount to function properly as a cyclist?” Abdullahi asked.
In results of some of the events concluded on Monday, Tombrapa Grikpa representing Force Headquarters Abuja, returned home in 1minute, 58 seconds, 08 milliseconds (1:58.08) to win gold in 1 km cycling.
Lindia Paul of Zone 5 Police Command picked silver after finishing second in a time of 2:34.87, while Oluchi Manna of Zone 6 won bronze having returned in 2:42.61.
The male category saw Busari Michael of Zone 11 win gold after finishing in a time of 1:52.73, while Moses Adodo of Zone 2 ended up in second place with a time of 1:53.19 to take silver.
Zone 4 represented by Ayuba Zarma won the bronze after finishing in third place in time of 2:06.17.
In Taekwondo, Omobobola Ajayi of Force Headquarters Abuja picked gold after defeating Olarewaju Adegoke of Zone 11 in the female Heavy Weight category.
Adegoke eventually settled for silver, while Attah Queen of Zone 5 won bronze after defeating Augusta Ogbalo of Zone 6.
In the men’s football event played at the Otuocha Township Stadium, Zone 6 defeated Zone 2 by a lone goal to pick three points.
In other matches played at the same venue, Zone 7 humbled Zone 8 by 2-0, while Zone 9 and Zone 2 ended their encounter 0-0 in the women’s football event.
Action will continue on Tuesday in kick-boxing, badminton, football, chess, cycling, hockey, judo, scrabble and shooting as the competition enters day 3.
The ongoing 2020 Nigeria Police Games in Awka kicked off on Feb. 29 and will end on March 7. (NAN)