Oshodi lists expected gains from Commonwealth Games’ national judo trials
Apart from being an avenue for Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF) to select athletes for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, the national trials slated for February 22 to 25 in Lagos will also herald a new era for the sport in the country, the NJF has said.
Speaking in Lagos, yesterday, NJF President, Dr. Musa Oshodi, said over 300 judokas (men and women) from the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT Abuja, the military, paramilitary and clubs will converge on Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium to compete for positions in seven weight categories.
Oshodi said the local organising committee, headed by the Federation’s Vice President, Mrs. Loveth Howell, has been appointed to ensure hitch-free trials to make it a memorable event.
“Apart from providing a platform to raise a formidable squad, which will represent Nigeria in the Commonwealth Games holding in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom from July 28 to August 8, 2022, the trials will also herald the new dispensation in Nigerian judo.
“You will agree with me that Nigerian judo has been in the doldrums for more than a decade. You will recall that in the not-too-distant past, Nigerian judo as part of the big league on the world stage. Then our judokas ruled Africa, they ruled the Commonwealth and even held their own in the world.
“To refresh your memory, Majemite Omagbaluwaje was ranked ninth best judoka in the world in 1989. But lately, Nigerian judo vanished from the international radar.
“For the first time in its almost 50 years of existence, the NJF got a judoka as its president, courtesy of the last federation’s elections held in Abuja on September 30, 2021,” he said.
Oshodi thanked Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Lagos State Sports Commission for supporting the trials.
“To all our current and prospective partners and brand support companies, particularly, MTN Nigeria, Kellogs Nigeria, Lagos State Signage Agency, LASSA, the Embassy of Japan and the British High Commission, we truly appreciate your interest in judo and in helping to achieve the collective goal of repositioning Judo in Nigeria. I can assure you that with your support, we can confidently face the future with all its challenges,” he stated.