Mikel, Oshonaike lead Team Nigeria to Rio 2016 Olympics
The Sports Ministry yesterday named Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi, as Team Nigeria’s captain to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which begins on August 5.
The Super Eagles captain, who will make his first appearance at the Olympics in Rio, will be assisted by table tennis star, Funke Oshonaike.
Obi is one of the three over-aged players in the national U-23 team slated for vie for honours in the football event of the games.
Assistant team captain, Oshonaike, is a veteran of the Olympic Games, with Rio being her sixth appearance at the competition she first graced at the Atlanta ‘96 edition.
The U-23 football team, which is putting finishing touches to its preparations for the games in Atlanta, United States, is expected to depart for Rio on Friday.
The Sports Ministry revealed that Mikel and Oshonaike were chosen because of their consistency, patriotism and dedication to national assignments.
“Mikel is a young, patriotic footballer of international status and we believe he will be a role model to the upcoming athletes, while Funke Oshonaike is experienced and is one of the oldest athletes in the team. We believe that their combined efforts will bring goodwill to Team Nigeria and project the county’s image positively to the world,” said the Chef- de- mission Christian Ohaa.
Team Nigeria was led to the London 2012 edition of the games by Beijing 2008 Olympics bronze medallist, Chika Chukwumerije. He was assisted by another Beijing bronze medalist, Blessing Okagbare.
Meanwhile, the national U-23 team has been charged by the Acting Consul General, Consulate of Nigeria, Atlanta, Mr. Olu Falomo, to go all out and exhibit the Nigerian spirit so as to reclaim the Olympic football gold and make Nigeria proud again, reports thenff.com.