Sports minister sees off Nigeria relay team as 16 athletes jet out to USA

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Nigeria’s preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has hit top gear as 16 Athletes departed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Thursday  for Texas where they will take part in relay qualifiers.  

The 16 athletes and coaches decked in their new kits were seen off by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare.

The team had almost three weeks camping in Abuja while preparing for the relay races in the United States, which serves as qualifiers for the Olympics, after missing out of the World relays in Poland due to visa issue.

With the development, the media office of the minister debunked media report which claimed that Team Nigeria was stranded due to lack of funds.

The Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Prince Niyi Beyioku, said: “Our athletes are highly motivated to participate in various relays in the United States. Contrary to a report which claimed that the team was stranded, you can see that it is not true. 

“You can see them in their new kits courtesy of the minister who pulled all the buttons to make the trip a reality. The team has no financial problems. Team Nigeria Olympics preparations is on track. This is evident in what we are seeing.  “The advance party went ahead to fine tune all arrangements. This is a mark of the commitment of the Honourable Minister to ensure a hitch-free event and podium success in Tokyo, Beyioku said”

Beyioku further affirmed: “The Athletes have trained very well and are motivated to make the country proud. All the COVID-19 protocols for a successful trip have been carried out. To underscore the importance of the trip, the Honourable Minister lived up to his promise to see the athletes off to motivate them to make  Nigeria proud by qualifying for the Olympics and win medals.”

The team would take part in the first relay on May 12.

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