The feat achieved by 17-year-old Ronke Akanbi has become a source of inspiration to the 10-man contingent of Team Nigeria at the ongoing 19th International School Sports Federation (ISF) Gymnasiade 2022 taking place in Normandy, France.
Akanbi on Tuesday smashed Nigeria’s 3000m record after running 9.36.86secs to win the gold medal at the ISF Gymnasiade being the first medal to be won by any African team at the tournament.
For the President of Nigeria School Sport Federation (NSSF), Olabisi Joseph, Akanbi’s performance has indeed brought vibrancy to the camp of the team in France.
Joseph who led the team to the multi-sport fiesta said: “I think for us at NSSF, this is a big feat and this is what we believe can restore the lost glory of Nigeria when we expose our young athletes to international competitions. As part of NSSF’s plan, we decided to return Nigeria to the global family with our presence in France and we are happy that our participation has been worthwhile with what Akanbi has achieved. I am impressed with our athletes because they have shown courage and determination in the midst of other athletes and we hope this feat in France would inspire other Nigerian students to always aim high both on track and in class.”
Nigeria and 10 other African countries are competing at the global championships with Uganda having the largest contingent of 40 competing in five events. Other African nations in France are Algeria, Mauritius, Senegal, Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tanzania.