Nigeria’s preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has hit top gear as 16 athletes departed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport today, for Texas, where they will take part in relay qualifiers.
The 16 athletes and coaches decked in their new kits were seen off by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.
The team had almost three weeks camping in Abuja, in preparation for the relay races in the United States, which serves as qualifiers for the Olympics after missing out of the World Relays in Poland due to visa issue.
This is contrary to the reports in a national daily which claimed Team Nigeria was stranded due to lack of funds.
According to the Secretary General of the Atheletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Prince Niyi Beyioku “Our athletes are highly motivated to participate in various relays in the United States. Contrary to a report which claimed the team was stranded, you can see that it is not true.
“You can see them in their new kits courtesy of the Minister who pulled all the buttons to make the trip a reality. The team has no financial problems. Team Nigeria Olympics preparations is on track.
“This is evident in what we are seeing. The advance party went ahead to finetune all arrangements. This is a mark of the committment of the Minister to ensure a hitchfree event and podium success in Tokyo”
Beyioku further affirmed “The athletes have trained very well and are motivated to make the country proud. All the Covid-19 protocols for a successful trip have been carried out. To underscore the importance of the trip, the Minister lived up to his promise to see the athletes off to motivate them to make, Nigeria proud by qualifying for the Olympics and win medals.”
The team would take part in the first relay on May 9th.