Minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare has pled with Nigerians to pray for the country’s athletes to win medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games In Japan.
Team Nigeria made up of 58 athletes would be competing in 10 sporting events at the commencement of the rescheduled Games from today to 8 August 2021.
Recall that, at the last Olympic Games in Rio 2016 , Team Nigeria won just one bronze medal in men’s football to claim the country’s first podium finish since 2008. The Nigerian team were beaten 2-0 in the semifinals by Germany but regrouped to beat Honduras 3-2 in the bronze playoff.
Speaking at a brief ceremony organised by the Ethiopian Airline to send the minister and others forth, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja yesterday, the minister appreciated the efforts of the airline company and others who have supported the sporting sector and called on all Nigerians to pray for the team for a victorious outing ,while giving his best wishes to the team.
He said, ” We thank Ethiopian Airlines for successfully air lifting our Team and hope that we shall have cause to celebrate when we return with medals. So my message is best wishes Team Nigeria, above all we need the prayers of Nigerians so that the athletes compete excellently, cleanly and win medals and bring glory to our Nation”.
” We are grateful to the federal government, corporate Nigeria and all those who supported Team Nigeria by adopting our athletes.
He further reaffirmed the team’ s effort geared towards putting in their best and coming out top and encouraged Nigerians to continually support the team as they go ahead to put the country on the map of greatness.
‘’I want Nigerians to wish the Team Nigeria the very best as we compete with the very best in the world at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 205 countries with over 11,000 Athletes from around the world validates the Olympics as the biggest sporting event in the world.
The fact that we have a team of 58 athletes that qualified to participate, some of whom are the very best in their events shows that this country is going to Tokyo not just to show up but to compete clean and win medals”.
In response to the appreciative stance of the minister , the Abuja Manager of the Ethiopian airline Senait Ataklet in her remarks stated that the company was proud to be pivotal to helping the team attain greatness and wished them the best of luck at the tournament.
” We are proud to be associated with Team Nigeria as the official airline. We wish the team best of luck and look forward to receiving you when you return from Tokyo with medals”, she said.