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Other Sports of Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Source: Graphic

Abuja 2003: Nigeria Stripped Of 9 Gold Medals

Nigeria's hope of finishing the All Africa Games on top of the pack was yesterday jolted a heavy blow when she was stripped of nine medals won in the power weight-lifting.

The announcement, made yesterday, only confirmed rumours that the competing countries were going to protest against the hosts’ medal haul in that competition as the criteria for organising that event were not met.

The General Secretary of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA), Dr Awoture Eleyae, gave the confirmation in an interview with Graphic and later through a press release yesterday.

According to the rules of the Games, an event is only eligible to be competed in when there are five countries or more participating in that event. However, only three countries took part in the power weightlifting, prompting South Africa to lead the protest against Nigeria.

According to Dr Elayae, Nigeria should have been further punished for that misconduct as they were very much aware of the rules, but bent it to suit them as that was their cash point in romping in the medals especially gold.

No official list has been released yet but the list of the people stripped of their medals could include Lucy Ejike, the woman who set the new world record in the 41kg event. The new situation thus leaves Nigeria still trailing South Africa who has 110 medals with 92 gold while Ghana has improved her own record with two gold medals, a silver medal and five bronze medals.

Ghana still has a chance of further improving her medal haul as Margaret Simpson, after four events in the hepthathlon, is leading the pack while Ignatius Gaisie is also gunning for the gold in the long jump.