Secretary of the Nigeria rowing, canoeing and sailing federation, Olubunmi Oluode says preparation is in top gear for the team to secure tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic from the African rowing Championship in Tunisia.
The Rowing tournament which starts from 3rd-13th October, will also serve as qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In a chat with www.brila.net the Canoe, Rowing Kayaking Federation Secretary said, “We’ve looked at our performance at the African Games, we are getting ready and are trying to prepare both the home-based and foreign based athletes, and hopes are high that they will qualify from this continental competition in Tunisia.”
Addressing the lack of standard equipments for the rowers to train, she said the Federation and Ministry of Youths and Sport have plans in place for the athletes to arrive Tunisia before the start of the tournament so they can acclimatize and get used to the boats that will be used for the tournament.
“Presently, Nigeria does not have equipmen t the elite level of the sport, what we have are not the modern type of boats like we used in Morocco; at the African Gams, after this qualification we hope the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will look into getting modern facilities for our rowers in Nigeria.”
The roll-call of athletes currently preparing include, Moses Akpos, Paul Dayomi, Esther Tamaraebi Tokoh, Ayomide Bello, Two para-rowers medalist from African Championship in February, Kingsley Ijeoma in London and Toyin Alayode, Bose.
She also disclosed plans for at least one Nigerian representative in Sailing at the Olympics in Tokyo, with the qualification staged in Angola.
Olubunmi said, “For sailing there are plans in place for the Africa qualification in Angola, the Nigerian Navy has released some officers to the federation to work with them, so we can have athletes for the qualification.”