Nigeria will begin its preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games today with prospective athletes expected to report to camps in Lagos and Abuja.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development yesterday disclosed that it has made arrangements to camp athletes and officials ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, earlier scheduled for this year, but were shifted to next year following the outbreak of coronavirus.
According to the ministry’s Director, Elite Athletes, and Competitions, Dr. Simon Ebhojaiye, the “exercise is poised to bring back our athletes to their individual sports having been on recess for so long due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“This local camping, which is coming at the resumption of sporting activities in Nigeria, is geared towards early preparations of athletes who have qualified for the Games.”
He disclosed that the ministry in conjunction with the Delta State government organised a COVID-19 Okowa Athletics Resumption Meet in Asaba on November 6, 2020 “to test the application of the COVID-19 Sports Code and Resumption Protocol in a competition environment, which was a resounding success paving way for the reopening of Sporting activities in Nigeria.”
According to Ebhojaiye, Abuja will host the camps for taekwondo, rowing, and para-rowing, as well as canoeing and para-canoeing.
Powerlifting athletes, he said, will be camped in Lagos, while training camps for middle and long-distance runners will hold in Pankshin, Plateau State.
He disclosed that other sports federations not captured in the first phase of camping where athletes have qualified for both Games will commence training soon in batches, adding, “all camps are to strictly observe the COVID-19 Sports Code and Resumption Protocol already developed by the Ministry in both training and accommodation venues.”