The French Embassy in Nigeria has congratulated Nigeria’s representatives to the 11th World Track Cycling Championship for making history by being among the two African countries to qualify for the event holding at the Jean Stablinski regional Indoor Velodrome in Roubaix, France from October 20-24, 2021.
The four Nigerian female cyclists who would represent the country at the championship as well as top officials of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) hosted at the residence of the newly appointed French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mme Emmanuelle Blatmann, in Abuja at the weekend.
According to a statement issued on Saturday by the press officer of the French Embassy in Nigeria, Onyinye Madu, the girls are Grace Ayuba, Tawakalt Oyetayo Yekeen, Ese Lovina Ukpeseraye and Mary Sunday Samuel. They were accompanied by Engr. Giandomenico Massari, the President of the Nigerian Cycling Federation and Makpa Shaman, the secretary-general of the federation.
This was a monumental event as it is the first time in history that Nigeria has qualified for the World Cycling Championships, of which only 2 countries in Africa have qualified to participate in this event, Nigeria and Egypt, which has one participant.
This shows the rise of this sport in Nigeria and the enthusiasm it generates among the youth with improved active women participation.
Roubaix is the 3rd most populated city in the northern region of France and is a well-known city in the cycling world as it hosts one of the oldest races called: “the Paris – Roubaix” which has taken place every year since 1896. This will be the 16th time that France has hosted the World Track Cycling Championships and the first time since 2015.
Unfortunately, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, could not welcome the four women in person, as she is currently in isolation having just arrived in Nigeria last week.
But she was ably represented by Mr Olivier Chatelias, the Deputy Ambassador of the French embassy in Nigeria and other delegates of the Embassy, who warmly welcomed the girls and the Nigerian Cycling Federation delegates.