The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, says there will be a presidential reception for the athletes that represented Nigeria at the recent African Games held in Morocco.
Dare disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Team Nigeria came second on the table at the 2019 African Games in Morocco with 127 medals behind Egypt which topped the table with 273 medals.
The minister said that the nation’s female and male basketball teams had also creditably acquitted themselves and would also be given presidential reception.
Dare said the reception would be at a yet to be fixed date.
“There will be a presidential reception; the ministry has written the presidency so that the president can give us a date that is suitable for the medalists from Morocco.
“We are also going to have D’ Tigress and D’ Tigers; D’ Tigress won the Afro-Basketball title; D’ Tigers also qualified for the Olympics; so, when you look at it; we are African champions when it comes to both female and male basketball.
“As to whether there will be package attached to the reception, it is at the discretion of the president but we will make recommendations.
“You recall that in Aug. 16 and 31, the All African Games now called African Games held in Morocco; the African Games is often referred to as the African Olympics where we have African countries showcasing their best.
`Nigeria was present and it ended with Nigeria coming second on medals table right after Egypt; Nigeria had 46 Gold medals, 33 silver medals, 48 bronze medals—a total of 127 medals as against that of Egypt that had 273 medals.’’
He said that Nigeria’s performance in Morocco was rated as one of the best when compared to previous times.
According to him, Nigeria’s recent position is significant because it has seen a resurgence of few other sports that it never had any gold in before.
“We had gymnastics coming back; in canoeing, we won two gold medals; in athletics we had witnessed a bit of doldrums but we came first on the athletics table in Morocco.
“Interestingly too, this time around, in the past our gold medal table was improved because of the para-athletes; for the first time, we did not have the para-athletes; yet we were able to bring in as many gold medals as possible.
“The female athletes garnered 74 medals against the male athletes who garnered 50 medals; so the female, this time, contributed more to our medal table.
“ We had a seven-week preparation period for camping for Morocco 2019; the lesson learnt is that if we have had a longer period of preparation, we would have been able to win more medals,’’ he said.
Dare said that Morocco would serve as benchmark as Nigeria prepared for the 2020 Olympics.
He said that Nigerian athletes would be going to Doha, Qatar, on Sept. 21 for the Doha Meet, which was almost the equivalent of the Olympics.
The minister said that with the outcome in Doha, Nigeria could measure its preparedness for the forthcoming Olympics.
Edited by Felix Ajide
- United States imposes sanctions on Central African rebel leader
- Lebanese judge orders detention of top officials after port blast
- FG evacuates 325 more Nigerians from United States in 6th special flight
- Italy extends coronavirus restrictions, allows cruise ships to sail
- Cuba keeps Havana airport closed as coronavirus cases spike
- Nigeria: NCDC announces 443 new COVID-19 cases, total infections now 45,687
- United States stimulus talks collapse, setting stage for Trump executive orders
- Devastated Sarri says he can’t be judged on basis of one match
- American golfer disqualified from PGA Championship after scoring error
- Ronaldinho inches closer to release from Paraguayan ordeal