Sports Ministry trims Commonwealth Games’ squad
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has reduced the number of athletes in Nigeria’s camp preparing for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to ensure that the coaches concentrate on only athletes capable of winning medals. The athletes are camped in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
According to the figure made available to The Guardian, all the eight able-bodied table tennis players, comprising four men and four women were decamped, leaving only the three para-table tennis being trained by Coach Sunday Ogunsanya. The retained para-table tennis players are Faith Obazuaye, Tope Ogunsanya and Tajudeen Agunbiade.
Three para-athletes, including Suwaibidu Galadima, Saidi Adedeji and Goodness Duru and their Head Coach, Okechukwu Nnacheta were retained, while 16 out of the 32 have been decamped.
Those retained in the women category are Caroline Linus (51kg), Aishat Oriyomi (51kg), Yetunde Odunayo (60kg) Fadilat Tijani (60kg), Itunnu Oriola (69kg) Bola Shogbamu (69kg) Jacinta Nnunakwe (75kg) and Millicent Agbaegbulem.
The male boxers retained are Sikiru Fatai Ojo (56kg), Abayomi Rotimi (56kg), Kazeem Soyoye (60kg), Agu Ibrahim (60kg), Osita Umeh (69kg), Waheed Shogbamu (69kg), Lukmon Lawal (81kg) and Olademeji Salami (81kg). They are being trained by three coaches led by Tony Konyegwachie (Head Coach), Mohammed Umar and Adeoti Yinka.
The Director of Sports in charge of Field and Elite Athletes Division, Tayo Oreweme said the reduction is to pave way for the arrival of the foreign-based athletes, who are expected to join their home-based colleagues ahead of the training tour in Europe.Basketball, wrestling, weightlifting and para-powerlifting were also affected by the new measure, but The Guardian could not get the figures and names of the athletes affected by the exercise as at press time.
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