With just 10 days to the commencement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Nigerians have been assured of an impressive outing by Team Nigeria.
Speaking during the unveiling of Team Nigeria kits and handing over of the athletes to the Nigerian Olympic Committee at the State House Abuja on Monday, Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare said, “As you all are aware, the preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics began long before the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the organizers of both events to postpone the Games to 23 July and 24 August 2021, respectively.
“These athletes will be flying the colours of our great country, Nigeria, in Tokyo in the coming days.”
He used the opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the members of the National Assembly for their unwavering support in terms of resources and provision of an enabling environment that made it possible for the athletes to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Dare disclosed that Nigeria qualified in Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoeing, Gymnastics, Rowing, Taekwondo, Table Tennis and Wrestling. For the Paralympic Games— Para Powerlifting, Para Athletics, Para Rowing and Para Table-Tennis all qualified.
He further stated that in a very clear departure from the past, athletes of Team Nigeria have been in camp for the past two months in an intensive and extensive training program, adding that, “in ensuring that our esteemed athletes are physically fit for the Games. As the team departs for Japan, it will head straight to Kisarazu for another two weeks for the offshore final camping exercise before the commencement of the Tokyo Olympic Game”.
According to him, “All these would not have been possible without the support of Mr. President. I want to assure you that with the pedigree of the athletes who make up Team Nigeria and the level of preparations, Team Nigeria will not disappoint Nigerians at the Tokyo 2020 Games. All we need is the continuous support and prayers of Nigerians.”
The Minister said the Athletes who were carefully selected have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism, commitment and discipline, recalling that the Ministry organized close to 90 days of staggered camping in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Yenagoa.
He pointed out that national trials were also organized and an international invitational involving five countries was also held in a concerted effort to ensure Team Nigeria qualifies for track and field.
In the same vein, the Federal Government has urged team Nigeria to make the country proud at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a spectacular performance devoid of cheating.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the send forth and unveiling of the team and kits at the State House, Abuja on Monday made this assertion, while commending the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare for ensuring a hitch free preparations.