By Femi Atolagbe &
Ondo State has hauled eight medals at the just concluded International Rope skipping Championship held at Seoul,Korea.
The state representative bagged five gold, one silver and two bronze at the final of the championship.
John James won three gold medals for Ondo State in the 30seconds Basic Bounce (SBB), 30seconds speed sprint (SSS) and 30seconds double Under (SDU). Alice Paul bagged one gold in the female 30seconds speed sprint(SSP), a silver in the 30seconds basic bounce (SBB) and a bronze in the female 30seconds double under (SDU), while Umoru Praise coasted home with one gold and one bronze in the Junior category.
The skippers were selected from the Inter-school Rope Skipping Championship held in Akure, Ondo State in November 2021. The event placed Ondo State on global spotlight in rope skipping.
Reacting to the brilliant performance of the skippers, the Rope Skipping national coach, Ukandu Chibuisi said the performance was far beyond his expectations.
According to him the team could not travel to Korea due to paucity of fund since government is not funding the federation, so we decided to register the team on virtual participation.
“The skippers pulled tears of joy from my heart. My expectation was just for them to participate, not expecting them to win where there were skippers from advanced countries like United States, India, Canada China among seventeen other countries that competed.
“This surely proves that the neglected stone can be the head of the corner. Their next international engagements are the world championship in Greensboro, North Carolina USA scheduled for July 2022, African championship in South Africa later in October and Double Dutch Holidays Classics in New York in December.
I’m appealing to individuals who would want to see these skippers soar higher to support our course.”
On his part, the President of the Nigeria Rope Skipping Federation, Mr. Dayo Oyewo said Nigerian rope skippers have what it takes to continue winning international medals if given support by government and well meaning Nigerians. He appealed to lovers of sports to support Team Nigeria as they prepare for the world championship in USA later in the year and the various projects designed by the federation towards developing the sport in all states of the country.