Rowing Federation to produce six new athletes for Tokyo 2020
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.