The Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games took place in Abuja (Nigeria capital city) from February 10th thru the 16th and the events included lawn tennis, table tennis (ping pong), squash, tennis, track and golf. Bob and I participated in the swimming events along with some other colleagues/friends, Sharon, Nancy and Scott. Sharon was our swim team captain and she also participated in tennis and squash, receiving a gold medal in individual squash and a silver medal in team squash. Unfortunately she was walked over in tennis because she was participating in swimming (concurrent events).
Back to swimming… Sharon was having a hard time recruiting swimmers that could get away from the office for a few days to participate. Scott committed to participating about 3 weeks before the event, Bob committed two weeks before and I committed one week before. On the Friday before the event Sharon, Bob, Scott and I went to the Ikoyi Club to do some time trials in a 33m pool to determine who would be swimming what event. Nancy was not there as she decided to come the day before the event!
The competition occurred on Wednesday February 13th. It was scheduled to start at 9:30AM but by the time the organizers got the info from each team and decided on the race order, it did not start until 11AM. The games took place at the National Stadium Complex in Abuja, a multipurpose sports complex was built for All Africa Games which took place in 2003. Nigeria also bid to use the complex for the 2014 Commonwealth Games (lost it to Scotland) and for the chance to host the 2018 World Cup as well as the 2012 Olympic Games. Sharon spent the whole week in Abuja so she got to see the preparation, or lack thereof, of the facility. Money was paid to have the venue prepared for the event but a few days before not much had taken place. The pool had not been cleaned (dirt and chemicals) and the power and water was intermittent. The squash games kept getting postponed due to lack of power and at one point they were going to be moved to the squash courts in the Hilton hotel.
Back to swimming… The swim team consisted of the folks mentioned about plus others from other locations (Port Harcourt, Bonne, Eket). All races were 50m in length and each person was only allowed to swim two individual races and the relay. The women's races were shared by Sharon, Nancy, Bleesing and me. The men's races were shared by Bob, Scott, Steven, Charles and David.
This is how the day played out…
Men’s Butterfly – Bob – First Place – Gold Medal
Women’s Butterfly – Sharon – Second Place – Silver Medal
Men’s Breast Stroke - Steven – Fourth Place
Women’s Breast Stroke – Lisa (me) – Second Place – Silver Medal
Men’s Back Stroke – Bob – First Place – Gold Medal
Women’s Back Stroke – Sharon – First Place – Gold Medal
Men’s Freestyle – Scott – Fourth Place
Women’s Freestyle – Lisa – Third Place – Bronze Medal
Veterans Men’s Freestyle – Scott – First Place - Gold Medal
Veterans Women’s freestyle – Nancy – First Place – Gold Medal
Men’s Relay – Bob, Charles, Scott, David – Fourth Place
Women’s Relay – Nancy, Lisa, Sharon, Blessing – Second Place – Silver Medal
Overall we earned 9 medals out of the 12 events! The medal winners will also be winning prizes; gold wins a DVD player, silver wins an iron, and bronze wins a rice cooker. Between Bob and I, we earned 2 DVD players, 2 irons, and a rice cooker!!
The games are held every 2 years and we definitely plan to participate, and even train, for the next games in 2010!
A read a bit more about the venue, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuja_Stadium
Women's Relay team - Blessing, Nancy, Sharon, Lisa (me)