With the 2019 National Trials concluded successfully in Lagos, the leadership of the Nigeria Para-Athletics Federation said their focus now is to ensure that a good number of Nigerian athletes qualify for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan with the aim of winning laurels for the country.
President of the federation, Hon. Amobi Chikwendu, stated this while addressing his athletes at the end of the two-day selection trials held at the main bowl of the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos where Team Nigeria athletes to the World Para-Athletics Grand Prix holding from June 24 to July 1, 2019 in Tunis, Tunisia were selected.
Hon. Chilkwendu commended the athletes for putting up brilliant performances which accounted for the improved standard recorded in this year’s championship
Despite the challenge posed by poor funding that has hindered the federation from carrying out its programmes as planned, the president charged the athletes to continue to put in their best by training hard.
He assured them of taking part in more qualifiers ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The Para-Athletics federation president is planning for them to be at World Championships in France and Dubai coming up in November, 2019 and the Africa Para Games holding in Morocco in January which are all Tokyo 2020 qualifiers.
Since the federation needs fund to attend all these qualifiers, Hon Chikwendu appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, corporate organisations as well as well meaning individuals to come to the aid of the federation.
Nigeria’s para-athletics have been on the forefront of winning laurels for the country in international competitions just the way they did at the Gold Coast 2019 Commonwealth Games in Australia, accounting for two gold, one silver out of the 12 medals the country won at the Games
They similarly won two gold including silver and bronze medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. The team also set two world records at the Games among others.