Row­ing Fed­er­a­tion to pro­duce six new ath­letes for Tokyo 2020

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

The Pres­i­dent of Row­ing, Sail­ing and Ca­noe­ing Fed­er­a­tion Fran­cis Por­beni, on Mon­day said his goal was to pro­duce at least four to six new ath­letes for the next Olympic Games.

The fed­er­a­tion had pro­duced at least three to four ath­letes in the last two Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janiero re­spec­tively.

Por­beni said that new tal­ents would be dis­cov­ered to add to the fed­er­a­tion’s pool of ath­letes in or­der to boost its chances of a podium fin­ish at the next games.

“My top pri­or­ity right now is to pro­duce at least four to six fresh ath­letes ahead of the Tokyo Games.

“The coun­try is in­deed blessed with an abun­dance of young tal­ents.

“All we need to now is to fish them out and har­ness their po­ten­tial so as to give a bet­ter ac­count of our­selves at the next games,” he said.

Four ath­letes rep­re­sented the coun­try in var­i­ous wa­ter sports at the Rio Games.

They were Jonathan Akinyemi (Ca­noe­ing), Chierika Ukogu (Row­ing), Sam­son Opuakpo (Swim­ming) and Rachel Ton­jor (Swim­ming).

Ukogu made her de­but at the Rio Games in Brazil.

Her time of 7:54:44 sec­onds in the Sin­gles Sculls pro­pelled her into the semi fi­nals of the row­ing event.

Akinyemi was the only mem­ber of the quar­tet to fea­ture in his sec­ond out­ing, hav­ing made his de­but in London 2012.

He was the first ever Nige­rian to com­pete in the Ca­noe­ing event of the Olympic Games.

He com­peted in the Ca­noe slalom Men’s kayak sin­gle (K-1), fin­ish­ing 21st in the heats, thereby fail­ing to qual­ify for the semi­fi­nals.

Akinyemi again qual­i­fied as Nige­ria’s only ca­noeist to Rio 2016 in the men’s K-1 class by ob­tain­ing a top fin­ish at the 2015 African Ca­noe Slalom Cham­pi­onships in Sa­gana, Kenya.

The next Olympic Games is sched­uled to hold in Tokyo 2020.

Jonathan Akinyemi

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