SPORT

Akinyemi is first Nige­rian ath­lete to ar­rive Rio

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Orkula Shaagee @shagcy

TNige­rian ca­noeist, Jonathan Akinyemi has ar­rived Rio de Janeiro in Brazil ahead of the 2016 Sum­mer Olympic Games which be­gins in the Brazil­ian City of Rio on Au­gust 5. Mr. Tony Ubani, the Press At­tache to Team Nige­ria told Daily Trust that Akinyemi,

he Nige­ria Bas­ket­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NBBF) Pres­i­dent, Malam Ti­jani Umar, yes­ter­day said the na­tional male bas­ket­ball team head­ing to the Rio Olympics are pro­fes­sional-minded play­ers ready to do the coun­try proud at the qua­dren­nial sport fi­esta.

Umar said in an in­ter­view in Abuja that what was im­por­tant now was for ev­ery hand to be on deck as a team.

“This is what is nec­es­sary to make Nige­ria’s out­ing at the 2016 Olympic Games a suc­cess,” he said.

The NBBF pres­i­dent spoke to NAN on the side­lines of a news con­fer­ence ahead of the AdaMark Foun­da­tion for Girls’ July-Au­gust camp.

“Our bas­ket­ball play­ers are at the level where it will take a re­ally hor­ren­dous thing to de­mo­ti­vate them be­cause they are pro­fes­sional peo­ple. And they know what the Olympics means. So, they have set their minds to go in there and just do that. It is just left for us to raise our own act and meet them.

“For me, what is im­por­tant is that, every­one con­cerned should work to­gether. I can see very clearly that both the Min­istry of Youths and Sports and the Nige­ria Olympics Com­mit­tee (NOC), of which I am a Vice-Pres­i­dent, are work­ing to­gether and the syn­ergy is help­ing be­cause that is the way it should be.

“And, ev­ery fund avail­able should be placed on the ta­ble for the play­ers. It does not mat­ter who does it,” Umar said.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, the Cap­tain of Team Nige­ria to the Rio Olympic Games, John who will rep­re­sent Nige­riaý at the Olympics for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive time in the ca­noe/ slalom kayak event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, ar­rived Brazil on Tues­day, ahead of the rest mem­bers of Team Nige­ria, and was re­ceived at the Games Vil­lage by of­fi­cials of Team Nige­ria. “He im­me­di­ately got down to work and has not slowed down since he hit Rio”, an ex­cited of­fi­cial of Nige­ria Olympic Com­mit­tee said. Mikel Obi has de­nied me­dia re­ports mak­ing the rounds in Nige­ria that he gave 30,000 dol­lars to his team-mates in the U-23 team presently camp­ing

Born in Eng­land, Jonathan Akinyemi is the first Nige­rian to com­pete in the ca­noe­ing event of the Olympic Games when he fea­tured for Team Nige­ria at the 2012 Olympic Games in Lon­don.

He qual­i­fied as Nige­ria’s only ca­noeist to Rio 2016 Olympics in the men’s K-1 class by ob­tain­ing a top fin­ish at the 2015 African Ca­noe Slalom Cham­pi­onships in Sa­gana, Kenya which makes him a medal hope­ful at the Rio Games. in At­lanta, USA.

Speak­ing from the team’s camp at the Hy­att Place, the Su­per Ea­gles cap­tain was fu­ri­ous, say­ing the re­port is

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