By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
Nigeria’s Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, has stressed that Nigeria went through an exhaustive process to scientifically analyse and determine the nine sports that would fly the flag of the country at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In a chat with newsmen in Abuja, the Minister said, ‘We are putting our best foot forward and we decided that based on limited resources and very scientific analysis, we would want to leverage on the sports in which we have our sports men and women amongst the top 10 or 15 in the world.
‘If in a particular sport we are 128th in the world and the goal of going to the Commonwealth Games is for podium performance and not rehearsals, we won’t go where we are ranked that low. We brought out all the statistics and crunched the numbers to pick the sports we are strong in, so we are going with a smaller team, but to compete in a big way’.
Nigeria will be competing in Athletics, Wrestling, Boxing, Karate, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Para-athletics, Para-powerlifting and Para-table tennis.
Amongst others, medal prospects include World no. 11 in Table Tennis Aruna Quadri, reigning African Games Table Tennis champion, Omotayo Olajide alongside 2022 African Table Tennis Cup finalist, Fatima Bello, Esther Oribamise and Ajoke Ojomu.
In Athletics, African 100m Wowen’s hurdle record holder, Oluwatobiloba Amusan, National 100m champion, Favour Ashe, Africa’s second fastest women’s 200m sprinter Favour Ofili, World U-20 200m Champion, Udodi Onwuzurike are a few of the medal prospects for the country.
In Wrestling, Commonwealth champions, Blessing Oborududu and Odunayo Adekuoroye represent huge threats to opponents in their different weight classes.
These amongst other immensely talented athletes will be vying to do Nigeria proud in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 2022.