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Okowa adopts six athletes as Team Nigeria camp opens in four centres

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Ifeanyi Okowa


Nigeria’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ build up received a major boost yesterday when Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa adopted six of the athletes expected to represent Nigeria in the Games. The adoption means that the governor will henceforth fund their preparations for the Games.

Those adopted by the governor are Favour Ofili, Blessing Okagbare, Divine Oduduru, Raymond Ekevwo, Itsekiri Usheorise and Ogho-Oghene Egwero.

With this adoption, these athletes’ preparations for the Olympics and personal expenses like medical, hiring of personal trainer, diet and other related needs would be taken care of by the governor.

This is a fall-out of the adopt -an-athlete initiative created by Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, to have individuals, state governments and corporate bodies fund the training of Olympics-bound athletes.

Meanwhile, the sports ministry has finalised arrangements for the camping of home- based athletes scheduled to participate in the Olympic Games in four centres across the country.

The athletes, from 10 events, will be camped in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Bayelsa today. Director, Federation of Elites Athletes Department, Dr. Simeon Ebhojiaye said, “with just days to the official commencement of the Tokyo Olympics, our countdown commences on May 24, 2021 with camps in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Bayelsa. We are also monitoring the performances of the foreign-based athletes closely.”

He said the Abuja camp will host athletics, canoeing, rowing, weightlifting, para-athletics and taekwondo, while Lagos will host para-powerlifting and para-table tennis. Wrestling is camped in Bayelsa, while Badminton has its base in Port Harcourt, he added. He affirmed that Nigeria decided to participate in only 10 that it has competitive advantage.

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