With the 2012 London Olympic Games around the corner, Team Nigeria’s wrestling, boxing and weightlifting presently in camp in Benin, Yenagoa and Owerri, are set to depart the country next week Thursday, May 31 to Germany for their final phase of camping ahead of the championship.
Supervising minister of sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi who disclosed this said the off-shore camping would give the athletes opportunity to embark on intensive training and concentrate on their plans for the game.
The minister added that contrary to media reports that nothing is being done concerning Team Nigeria’s preparation for the London Games, a lot of work have so far been done by the NSC, the sports federations and the athletes. “A total of 48 athletes have qualified for the London Olympics by virtue of their sterling performances at the pre-Olympic qualifiers.
Nigeria is going to compete in seven sports-athletics, boxing, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling, weightlifting and canoeing. I have heard people complain that nothing is being seen about our preparations for the London Games; that is not true. We have four off-shore camps in South Korea, Germany, Surrey and Atlanta. The taekwondo team has been in camp in Soul, South Korea since April and is engaged in training tour of Taiwan and Belgium.
“The track and field athletes’ camp in Atlanta opened March 3, 2012 and have competed in international competitions in Mount Sac, Pennsylvania and Atlanta. The wrestling, boxing and weightlifting teams who have been in camp in Yenagoa, Benin and Owerri shall leave for Germany on the 31st of May.
A lot of preparations are ongoing. I just returned from Georgia where some of our athletes took part in the championship and their performances in the tournament are indications that Nigeria will do well in London. Also, Blessing Okagbare put on an impressive performance recently and now ranks 5th in the world by IAAF.”
According to him, “Team Nigeria will arrive the Surrey camp in time to tidy preparations ahead of the July 27 opening. “The pre-games training camps in surrey shall serve as a collection point for all our athletes and technical officials from July 3 to 18, 2012, ten days ahead of the open ceremony of the Olympic Games.”