By Mike Rowbottom

Sunday Bada_16-12-11December 17 - Tributes have been paid to Sunday Bada (pictured), Nigeria's former Olympic 400 metres silver medallist and world indoor champion, who has died suddenly at the age of 41.

Bada, who was technical director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was described by Henry Amike, a former 400m hurdler and now President of the Nigeria Olympic Association, as the country's best ever athlete and administrator.

Bada was reported dead last Monday (December 12) soon after leaving the National Stadium in Lagos.

Amike told NationSport in Lagos that Bada was "one of a kind", adding that in terms of medals, the sprinter "stood tall" over other Nigerian athletes.

"He won medals in all the championships he had attended," Amike said.

"So I consider him the greatest of our time.

"What happened on Monday was most unfortunate.

"We don't know what happened, he just left the Stadium at 7.00pm and an hour later we were told that he was dead.

"He was not ill, he was very healthy.

"Apart from being a good athlete, he was a good administrator."

Bada, who would have turned 42 on June 22 next year, won three medals at World Indoor Championships, including a gold medal in 1997 at the Paris event.

He also won silver medals at the 1993 in Toronto and 1995 in Barcelona competitions.

He was a part of the Nigerian team that won the 4x400m silver medal in a national record of 2min 58.68sec at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Bada set a personal best of 44.63sec - the second fastest by a Nigerian after Innocent Egbunike - at the 1993 World Championships, where he finished fifth.

Bada had held the position as technical director of the AFN for six years, and had been secretary general of the Nigeria Olympic Committee for a year.

He was previously a member of the Nigeria Police Force.

"He was an honest gentleman, dedicated, friendly and most importantly he was a cheerful giver," added Amike, who said the Government was discussing a suitable way of marking Bada's passing.

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