Ahead Olympic relay qualifiers, Minister visits athletes, 25-man team set to depart

Minister Dare addressing the athletes at the stadium

As preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics intensifies, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare on Monday May 3 visited the athletes who have been training at the Moshood National stadium Abuja ahead of their departure for Texas United States on Thursday to participate in relay qualifiers.

No fewer than a 25-man contingent made up of athletes and technical officials are scheduled to depart Abuja as from Wednesday May 5, 2021 to US for the crucial qualifiers.

While few of them jet out on Wednesday, majority of participants would be out on Thursday.

While addressing the athletes shortly after their training inside the stadium, the Minister who was highly elated urged them to remain focused in unity.

He said, “I have been monitoring your preparations, and have met most of you personally. Whether you are home or foreign-based, Team Nigeria is one, hence we decided to take you to the US to join others so that you can blend as a team.”

The minister showered encomiums on some athletes, saying the future is bright for Nigeria to have podium performances at the Olympics.

He particularly commended the performance of Tobi Amusan who got adopted few weeks ago, and who now has the second World best time.

Minister also expressed delight with the gradual and sustained performance Grace Nwokocha and Enoch Adegoke who are already adopted by Ogun state governor and sport minister under the adopt-an- athlete-initiative.

The Youth and Sports Minister emphasised the importance of athletes’ welfare, and revealed that the ministry had put in place a detailed programme for the athletes where every trip, meet, timing, accommodation is being monitored and well funded.

The minister urged the athletes not to be distracted.

“Your job is to run and give this country the best; Focus on your training and the goal ahead and leave the administration to us. The world is waiting to see what you can do, you must meet their expectations,” he said.

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