Thursday, 28th October 2021
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Adeagbo, others set for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics qualifying races

Africa’s first woman skeleton Winter Olympian, Simidele Adeagbo and 10 other athletes have been named in Nigeria’s Bobsled and Skeleton national team to participate in races to qualify for the Winter 2022 Olympics, in Beijing, China.

Simidele Adeagbo / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

Africa’s first woman skeleton Winter Olympian, Simidele Adeagbo and 10 other athletes have been named in Nigeria’s Bobsled and Skeleton national team to participate in races to qualify for the Winter 2022 Olympics, in Beijing, China.

Adeagbo, who has already competed in some races, is the only athlete returning for the qualification races from the contingent that debuted for Nigeria at the last Winter Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

All 10 athletes (six men and four women) were selected from the Winter Olympics trials held at the National Stadium, Lagos.

Six athletes introduced to the famous Pyeongchang ice tracks earlier in the year maximised the experience to make the national team, while four others, without experience on ice also made the team.

The trials equally turned out to be the second major event of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria after the maiden tryout in September 2019, to introduce the sport.

Ugochukwu Dickson, Mbakwe Chinonso and reserve athlete Subair Yaya (Bobsled Brakeman), Yusuf Hammed (Bobsled Driver), Otukoya Kehinde and Akinbo Emmanuel (Skeleton) were selected for the men’s team.

The quartet of Alawode Sekinat Abiola, Kika Iyabo (Bobsled Brakeman), Perpetual Nwanna (Driver) and Lawal Folawiyo Khadijat (Skeleton), as well as Adeagbo make up the women’s team.

Remarkably, Dickson, Hammed, Emmanuel, Abiola, Nwanna and Folawiyo, who experienced ice for the first time in Pyeongchang, participated in the maiden tryouts in September 2019.

Against all odds, Nwanna and Abiola showcased the Nigerian can-do spirit on ice for the first time to claim bronze medals in Women’s Bobsled during the BSFN training camp and competition, in March.

The 11 athletes will continue their quest to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Europe, where they will join others in qualification races.