The first sport (Boxing) to give Nigeria a medal at the Olympics Games has been removed from the list of guaranteed sports ahead of the Los Angeles 2028 Games.
The development was earlier reported by Independent.ie and it however confirmed that the International Olympic Committee believes there is still a pathway for a sport considered as Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport to be included in the 2028 programme.
The source disclosed that IOC has given AIBA, the troubled world governing body of boxing, until 2023 to get their house in order.
Though boxing is only provisionally included in the Paris programme, it’s long-term viability as an Olympic sport is hanging by a thread.
Nigeria’s first ever medal at the Olympics came at the Tokyo 1964 Olympics when Nojeem Maiyegun won her first medal at the games.
In 1972 Munich and the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Isaac Ikhouria and Peter Konyegwachie won silver medals for Nigeria at the games, this improved on what Maiyegun had achieved at the Tokyo Olympics.
It took Nigeria another 8 years at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics where David Izonritei and Richard Igbineghu won another set of Silver medals, before Duncan Dokiwari won Nigeria’s last medal in boxing at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.
Aside boxing, wrestling which is another major hope for Nigeria at the Olympics is also on the list as one of the three sports to be left out. The third sport is pentathlon.
Like boxing, wrestling also have an opportunity to get their house in order within the next two years. This may definitely affect Nigeria, going by the fact that it has become a major source of medal for Nigeria since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Sadly, issues related to drug-taking allegations seemed to have put one of Nigeria’s hope of Olympic medal away from the games and if left unattended, the curtain could be closed on it.
Nonetheless, the IOC has left the door open for AIBA to be reinstated as the Olympic governing for boxing in 2023 provided they adhere to a roadmap on three key issues finances, governance and refereeing and judging.
AIBA must ‘demonstrate it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, financial transparency and sustainability, and integrity of refereeing and judging process’ to be retained in the Los Angles programme which will be finalised in December 2024 said Bach.