-1st Batch to depart July 6

A TOTAL number of 61 athletes will fly the country’s flag at Japan Tokyo Olympic Games holding next month from July 23rd to August 5th as Nigeria will feature in 9 sports. This was disclosed by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Chief Sunday Dare during a briefing on preparations for the Games.

He said that the athletes will go on a 14 days Pre Games Training in Kisarazu city, Japan to further exposure to adequately prepare ahead of their events as well as an ample opportunity to adjust to the Japanese time zone. Dare said the first batch of athletes will depart the country on July 6th while the second batch will leave the country on July 13th. Meanwhile, the Paralympic teams comprising 22 athletes competing in 4 sports will depart on August 8th.

“The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 affected the organisational structures of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and consequently, has pushed International Federations (IFs) to review their international sporting calendar and qualification pathway for athletes in their quest to participate at the Games. “These challenges, no doubt were difficult to overcome, but could not stop us as a great nation in ensuring that our athletes are strongly supported by the and motivated to achieve this milestone.

“The recent qualification of Nigeria for the Women’s 4x100m, Women’s 4x400m and 4x400m Mixed Relays was a significant achievement for the country, while still awaiting the World Athletics (WA) to ratify the slots in few days. “ The Ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Olympic Committee has scheduled a 14-day Pre-Games Training Camp (PGTC) for the athletes in Kisarazu City, Japan. This move will further expose the athletes to adequate preparations ahead of their events, as well as to give them ample time to adjust to the Japanese time zone.

It is also strategic to meet with COVID-19 regulations.” “In order to ensure a hitch-free participation of our athletes in Tokyo, the Ministry has engaged four (4) Travel Agencies to handle the issuance of flight tickets of Team Nigeria Contingent to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Two Companies each were assigned to both the Olympics and Paralympics.” He assured that ministry will put in place a better strategies towards ensuring podium success at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan. However, Minister commended the Federal government for providing funding for the athletes to represent their father’s land.

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