Nigeria’s Flag Hoisted at Athletes’ Village as 22nd Commonwealth Games Begin

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

The 22nd quadrennial Commonwealth Games begin today in Birmingham with over 5,000 athletes from 54 countries and territories participating in 20 sports and multi events.

Nigeria’s green white green flag was hoisted in the Athletes’ Village yesterday with a large enthusiastic crowd of officials and athletes dancing rancorously as Kizz Daniel’s street-anthem Buga song boomed through the loud speakers.

Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Banji Oladapo, who was delighted with the reception given Nigeria, said the country’s athletes would fight for all medals on offer in disciplines they are competing in.

Representative of the Chef De Mission, Maria Wophil, thanked the organisers of the reception, promising that Team Nigeria will be worthy competitors at the Games.

Team Nigeria is being represented by 127 athletes in 17 disciplines at the Games England is hosting for the third time with the most recent the Glasgow 2014 edition.

Girl of the moment, Tobi Amusan, who smashed the 100m world record is the defending champion in the women’s sprint hurdle. Other star athletes who are expected to sparkle for Team Nigeria include Blessing Oborududu who won gold at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in the women’s-68kg category; Odunayo Adekuoroye will also be defending her gold medal in the women’s wrestling -57kg category, just as Aminat Adeniyi who won gold in the -62kg event.
the country’s Table Tennis contingent is led by Aruna Quadri with  Olajide Omotayo among other top stars expected to win medals from the ping pong events.

Amongst the earliest visitors to Team Nigerian athletes at the Games Village include Sports Minister, Chief Sunday Dare, NOC President, Habu Gumel, scribe of the NOC, Banji Oladapo and Team Nigeria Coordinator, Yussuf Alli.

Dare, accompanied by Gumel, Oladapo, and Yussuf Alli, congratulated some of the athletes who were part of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America.

He urged the athletes to demonstrate the same level of zeal and commitment seen in Oregon, tasking them to stay disciplined and focused.

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