Tokyo Olympics: Team Nigeria to compete in 11 sports – Minister

Tokyo Olympics: Team Nigeria to compete in 11 sports – Minister

Nigeria will compete in just 11 sports, in which she has comparative advantage, at the Tokyo Olympics, says Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare.


The minister made this known in a statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media), John Joshua-Akanji, on Wednesday in Abuja.


Dare declared that the days of jamboree at the Olympics were over, saying Nigeria would now leverage on only those sports in which she had comparative advantage and prospects of a podium finish.


He said that preparations and leveraging on such sports would be the focus of the ministry.


“The Olympics is less than six months away and we have started camping our athletes to get them to full fitness, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.


“We have four camps in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Akure and Lagos. From next year, we will commence a more robust camping, with some athletes going abroad to train with their foreign-based counterparts,” he added.


Dare said that the early camping, which was in stages, would be intensified, with full compliance with all the COVID-19 protocols put in place.


“The first camping exercise was in Pankshin, Plateau State, while the second phase camping ended on Dec. 24, 2020. Lagos, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt and Abuja were the locations for the second phase.


“We started the pre-Olympics camping early to ensure that the athletes that will be representing our country in the Tokyo Olympics put up podium performances,” he added.


The minister reiterated that Team Nigeria would be going to the Olympics with just 11 sports, unlike in the past when the Team partook in all the sports and often returned empty handed.


“We need to compete with other nations to win and not to complete the numbers. We have decided to focus on 11 sports where we have comparative advantage,” he added.


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now hold in the summer of 2021.

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