Nigerian athletes have been promised better preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with Team Nigeria yet to register its name on the medals table after Day 15 of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Reacting to questions in Rio after Nigerian athletes in boxing, table tennis, rowing, wrestling and others failed to achieve a podium finish, the Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung explained that the results in Rio were a reflection of the level of preparations for the games.
“It takes a minimum plan of 4 years to prepare for an Olympics. We have seen that the likes of Divine Oduduru, Blessing Okagbare, Aruna Quadri, Efe Ajagba, Ese Brume, Chierika Ukogu and others would have made the desired impact if we had done the needful after the London 2012 misadventure.
“Success in sports no longer depends on skills and determination. Sports has gone scientific. It is time now to develop sports from the grassroots using sports science. It is not just to compete but we need to be in tune with modern day sports. We can also start to develop other sports ike water sports, gymnastics, long distance races, etc”
Dalung promised to establish a system that would enable early preparations for the next games.
“We are going to put in place a structure that will enable us to start early preparations for the next Olympics which must include provision of equipment and facilities. All stakeholders including the Nigeria Olympic Committee, the sports federations, zones, state and local government councils will be carried along in our quest to excel in future.
The corporate world will also be taken into cognizance. We will kick-start our preparations for next Olympics when I meet with all federations’ presidents to do a review and submit extensive programs which will prepare us for Tokyo 2020.”
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