Victor Okorie predicts medals haul for Nigerian athletes in Tokyo
Okorie, who won a bronze medal for Team Nigeria in the 400m hurdles during COJA 2003 All Africa Games, came from the United States to win the Southeast ticket in the AFN zonal election held in Enugu in June 8.
He told The Guardian yesterday that track and field would make Nigerians smile when the race for medals begins at the Tokyo Olympics.
Okorie was at the AFN/Olympics Trials at Yaba College of Technology, where the women’s 4x100m relay team sealed their qualification for the Olympics. He was also present at the Teslim Balogun Stadium for the Lagos Open Championship, where the women’s 4x400m ran a new African record, but some technical hitches denied them the chance of making it to Tokyo. He also attended the MoC Invitational Relays at YABA TECH on Sunday, where Nigeria’s 4x400m mixed relay team booked their passage to Tokyo.
For three years now, Okorie has been supporting athletes in the Southeast region through his South East Sports Foundation (SESF). He also sponsored some coaches at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Lagos.
According to him, the athletes’ performance in the three events held in Lagos was remarkable. He said: “they displayed good character and true professionalism all through the Open trials and I am very impressed.”
As the athletes move into closed camping in readiness for the Olympic Games, Okorie advised them to put more seriousness in their training. “Soon, Nigerians back home will be looking up to the athletes to give them medals at the Games. I am sure some of the athletes will live up to our expectations. We will continue to give them the encouragement and morale support they need to succeed in Tokyo,” Okorie stated.
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