Nigerian Aquatic Federation emerges 31st in global ranking
Nigerian Aquatic Federation has emerged 31st in global ranking following the country’s exploits at the just-concluded World Aquatic Championship in Fukuoka, Japan.
Speaking in Lagos, yesterday, the country’s first lady president of the Federation, Chinonye Daphey Aliyu, who led team Nigeria to the world championship, commended the athletes for making the nation proud, saying that the team showed great enthusiasm, tact, capacity, competence and resilience all through the competition.
“I am proud of Team Nigeria, who demonstrated discipline and the can-do spirit of an average Nigerian,” she said.
The Nigerian contingent to the tournament included four swimmers, namely, Collins Ebighan, Clinton Opute, Dorcas Okar, Adaku Nwandu; the team’s Coach, Sunday Tilije, accompanied by two board members, Mrs. Stella Ebegboni and the Secretary General, Mr. Joel Akinluwa.
According to her, the Japan 2023 tournament has taught her Federation the imperatives of developing athletes, who should be better funded for greater outing at the global stage.
Aliyu noted that if well funded, Nigerian athletes have all it takes to become one of the 10 best nations of swimmers in the world.
She said the feat attained at the Japan 2023 would definitely unlock the potential of athletes in the country.
The federation’s president stressed that, but for paucity of funds, Team Nigeria would have done better, just as she called on the government to rise up to the occasion towards early preparation of the nation’s athletes for championships of such magnitude, which, she noted, ranks among the best and popular sports in the world.
The tournament saw Nigeria’s Clinton Opute bag award of scholarship to be wholly sponsored by the world athletic body to study in Budapest, Hungary, on account of his exemplary swimming talent, while another prolific swimmer, Collins Ebigha, has also been on scholarship in Karzan High Performance Centre.
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