Daily Trust

First batch of Team Nigeria departs for Tokyo Olympics

- By Olusola Jide

The first batch of Team Nigeria’s Tokyo Olympics contingent departed the country yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatio­nal Airport Abuja for Kizarazu City in Japan where they are to have a pre-games training camp before moving to the Olympics village.

The first batch is made up of athletes and officials who are going to represent Nigeria in Canoe sprint, rowing and table tennis.

In Canoeing, Bello Ayomide will participat­e in Women’s Sprint C1, 200m while in rowing, Esther Tamaramiye­bi Toko is taking part in the women’s single Sculs WX1.

In table tennis, Omotayo Olajide and Aruna Quadri will take part in men’s singles while Edem Offiong and Olufunke Oshonaike are going to feature in women’s singles respective­ly.

Speaking during the brief send forth at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the minister of Youth and Sports Developmen­t, Sunday Dare charged the athletes to shun performanc­e enhancing drugs and ensure they win only clean medals.

He also said on July 12, President Muhammadu Buhari will play host to Team Nigeria at the Presidenti­al Villa where he would hand the Olympics bound athletes to the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) in line with the age long tradition.

He said “We are keeping to the tradition of uunveiling the team to the President who will in turn hand them over to the Nigerian Olympics Committee.

“The unveiling of the official wear / equipment will be done by Mr. President. This is a symbolic event meant to officially send forth the team to the games.

“This should also inspire the athletes and to reinforce the fact that the federal government and the entire country are behind them”

Meanwhile, batch 2 which is athletics, taekwondo and wrestling will depart for Tokyo on July 13, batch 3 comprising gymnastics and badminton will leave on July 17 while July 19 will be the turn of basketball which is batch 4.

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