- As Gumel confirms 70 athletes for Rio Olympics
Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) has approved six Nigerian athletes for Olympic Scholarships for elite athletes.
Interestingly, all the six athletes are from athletics. They are Blessing Okagbare, Divine Oduduru, Patience George, Regina George, Funke Oladoye and Tosin Adeloye.
ANOCA, with its headquarters in Nigeria introduced this gesture to support the preparation of the elite athletes for the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel, who made this known on Friday also noted that 11 athletes were also on the list of the International Olympic Committee for another grant aimed at boosting the preparation of the athletes for the games.
They are Okagbare, Oduduru, Regina George, Ese Brume, Christian Amaechi Morton (athletics), Odunayo Adekuruoye (wrestling), Adesanmi Oluwatoyin, Maryam Usman (weightlifting), Aruna Quadri, Effiong Edem (table tennis) and Jonathan Akinyemi (Rowing).
Gumel said: “The IOC grant is not new. The athletes get it regularly especially in an Olympic year like this but that of ANOCA is a new initiative. We are also working with the ministry of Sports to ensure Nigeria performs well at the games. “Olympic Games involve many things. We have held meetings with the Brazilian Embassy in Nigeria to ensure visas are given out to people who have genuine reason to travel. But they must come through the NOC for endorsement.”
The NOC boss also said 70 athletes have so far qualified for the forthcoming Games while many other qualifiers are still outstanding especially in weightlifting.