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Nigerian relay team leaves for US for Olympic qualification

Sixteen Nigerian Athletes and coaches have departed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on Thursday, for Texas, US to take…

Sixteen Nigerian Athletes and coaches have departed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on Thursday, for Texas, US to take part in the relay qualifiers ahead the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.According to a statement from the media office of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, the team had camped in Abuja for three weeks in preparation for the relay races in the U.S., which would serve as qualifiers for the Olympics.

“This came after missing out of the World Relays in Poland due to visa issue. This is contrary to the reports in a national daily which claimed team Nigeria was stranded due to lack of funds,” local media reports on Friday quoted the statement as saying.

The statement added that the Secretary General, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Niyi Beyioku, stated the athletes were highly motivated to participate in various relays in the U.S.

“Contrary to a report which claimed the team was stranded, you can see that it is not true. They are decked in their new kits, courtesy of the Minister, who pulled all the stops to make the trip a reality. The team has no financial problems.

“Team Nigeria’s Olympic 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,” he said.

Beyioku also affirmed that the Athletes had trained well and were motivated to make the country proud.

 “The team will take part in the first relay on May 9,” he said.

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