Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The cycling team of Burundi arrived Abuja yesterday for the African Track Cycling Championships billed for Abuja from between July 26 and 28.
The President of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Giandomenico Massari, made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing the media about the preparations for the international championship proposed for the Velodrome at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin Republic, Guinea, Morocco, Liberia, Cote d’ Ivoire and host Nigeria are the other countries that will participate in the event.
Egypt will storm Abuja with the largest contingent of 17 athletes and officials.
Training will begin at the weekend while the international coaches that will conduct the Commissar Course (Referee course) are already in the country.
Massari co-addressed the media with the General Secretary of CFN Dayo Abulude and the federation’s Technical Adviser, Bashir Mohammed.
Massari, who described cycling as the fastest growing sport in Nigeria, said that three UCI world champions, Andre Tonti, Giorgina Bonzi and Roberto Chiappa and the President of the African cyclist body (CAC) Dr. Wagih Azzam will grace the events in Nigeria.
He similarly assured that the event will be drug free as the liaised with WADA who will handle the aspect of doping control.
There will be over 18 competitions over the three-days of the championship being put together to showcase the link between fashion and cycling.
“We have got equipment and the track ready and we are now about to acquire more knowledge. We have shown that Nigeria can do things better than any other nations,” Massari said.
The Nigerian team, according to Mohammed will arrive Abuja today from Gombe where they had their second phase of camping programme. Nigeria will present 21 athletes in seven events, including the female sensation, Mary Samuel, who is ranked fifth in the world by UCI.