Joy Udo-Gabriel presenting the Founder/Group Managing Director of ARCO Group Plc, Alfred Okoigun with the Bronze medal she won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Making of Champions athlete Joy Udo-Gabriel was received by her sponsor, ARCO Group, after a successful outing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where she returned with a Bronze medal won in the women’s 4x100m relay alongside Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, Tobi Amusan and Rosemary Chukwuma.

The event was held at the ARCO Group Head Office in Lagos with Founder/GMD of the company Alfred Okoigun in attendance, as well ARCO Group’s Media Adviser Atilade Atoyebi, MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani, Udo-Gabriel, teammate Jeremiah Jakpa, and members of the media.

During his address, Okoigun commended Udo-Gabriel for her efforts while representing Nigeria for the first time in her career. He also applauded MoC’s vision in seeking to restore Nigeria’s dwindling fortunes in Track and Field.

ARCO Founder/GMD Alfred Okoigun (L) applauded MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani (R) for his vision in raising champions for Nigeria in Track and Field.

He said: “Joy, we want to congratulate you for bringing honour to the country, not to ARCO Group. When Akani came to me a few years ago with his proposal, one of the things he said was that if Jamaica could do it, Nigeria can do it ten times over. For me this is a huge delight, that in two-and-a-half years, we can contribute in making Nigeria shine.”

Media Adviser to ARCO Group, Atoyebi, called on other private companies to lend their support in developing sports in the country, saying: “If ARCO Group can plant such a seed, what will happen if many companies borrow a leaf from this in order to elevate the society? I want to congratulate these young people who are flying ARCO’s flag and that of the country simultaneously.”

While appreciating ARCO Group for their support through their Student-Athlete Scholarship of which she is a beneficiary, Udo-Gabriel, who got to the semis of the women’s 100m in Gold Coast, having set a Personal Best (PB) of 11.42s in the heats, promised to give her best and make her sponsors proud.

Joy Udo-Gabriel thanks her sponsors, ARCO Group, for investing in her.

She said: “The journey so far has been wonderful. It felt very great being at the Commonwealth Games, because I never even thought I was going to make the Nigerian team. I was really excited. I want to say thank you to ARCO Group because it is not easy investing in young people like us. In July we have the IAAF World Junior Championships coming up in Finland, and I will be fighting for a Gold or Silver medal there.”

MoC Founder/CEO, Akani, had this to say as well: “We will continue making ARCO proud by the efforts we make to revolutionize this sport with young talents. Udo-Gabriel is currently the third fastest Nigerian woman in the world, and at 18 years, I’m not sure we have witnessed this before. It’s a great responsibility on us and on Joy as well, because Nigerians will now be looking out for her and her progress.”

Joy Udo-Gabriel poses with her Commonwealth Games Bronze medal.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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