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Tokyo Olympics: Why Nigeria Will Participate In Only 11 Sports-Minister

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare has given reasons why Team Nigeria will only be competing for honours in just 11 of the sporting events at the Tokyo Olympics.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media), John Joshua-Akanji, on Wednesday in Abuja, Dare declared that the days of jamboree at the Olympics are over.

The Minister said Nigeria would only leverage on sports with comparative advantage and prospects of a podium finish.

He said preparing and leveraging on such short will be the focus of the ministry.

“The Olympics is less than six months away and we have started camping our athletes to get them to full fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

“We have four camps in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Akure, and Lagos. From next year we will commence more robust camping with some athletes going abroad to train with their foreign-based counterparts,” he added.

Dare said the early camping which is in stages will be intensified with all the COVID-19 protocols put in place.

“The first camping exercise was in Pankshin, Plateau State, while the second phase camping ended on December 24, 2020. Lagos, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt, and Abuja were the locations for the second phase.

“We started the Pre-Olympics camping early to ensure that the Athletes that will be representing the country in the Tokyo Olympics put up podium performances,” he added.

The minister emphasised that Team Nigeria will be going to the Olympics with just 11 sports, unlike in the past when all the sports that qualified went and returned empty-handed.

“We need to compete with other nations to win and not to complete the numbers. We have decided to focus on 11 sports where we have comparative advantage,” he added.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will now hold in the summer of 2021.

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