Team Nigeria in slow start at Winter Olympics

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Simidele Adeagbo of Nigeria starts her womens skeleton training session at the Olympic Sliding Centre, during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 14, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

• Adeagbo Places Last In Skeleton Heat 1, 2

Unless a miracle happens today, Nigeria’s quest for medal in the skeleton event at the on-going PyeonChang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea may be a mirage, following the unimpressive performance by Simidele Adeagbo in the two heats decided yesterday.

Adeagbo stepped out yesterday as the first Nigerian, African and black woman to compete in a skeleton event at the Winter Olympics, when she hit the track at 20:20 local time at the Sliding Center in PyeonChang.

In a rather disappointing performance, the 36-year-old Nigerian finished last (20th position) in heat 1 in a time of 54:19. She incurred a +2.53 time behind in the first heat.

Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold finished first in a time of 51:66, while Germany Jacqueline Loelling was second in 51:74. Australia’s Janine Flock was third in 51:81.

In the second heat also decided yesterday, Adeagbo failed to improve, returning at a poorer time of 54.58. Canada’s Elizabeth Vathje, who finished 12th in the first heat rose to the challenge by winning the second heat in a time of 52.01 ahead of Great Britain’s Laura Deas (52.03) and Australia’s Janine Flock (52.07).

Adeagbo’s American coach, Nick Vienneau had expressed confidence that the athlete would pull a surprise going into the race yesterday.The Nigerian and other female competitors will have to go through two more runs today. The four times would be added together, and the fastest total time will determine the winner. With Adeagbo’s poor run in the two heats decided yesterday, the race to the podium looks uncertain for her.

Nigeria’s two-woman Bobsled team, Seun Adigun (Driver), and Akuoma Omeoga (Brake-man) will have their first official training today, with a repeat tomorrow and February 19. The bobsled team will enter the medals’ battle on February 20 and 21.