Nigeria’s contingent to the Rio 2016 Paralympics is optimistic of shining and winning medals for the country.
The Nigerian contingent to the games will be departing the country today for Brazil.
Nigeria will be competing in only three sports: table tennis, para-athletics, and power-lifting.
Nigeria had performed quite poorly in the recently concluded Olympic Games in Rio, winning only a single medal (Bronze).
Media Officer, Paralympic Committee Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Ibeh, said the team is made up of 23 athletes and six coaches plus one athlete’s competition partner.
The team will depart the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at 5pm Nigerian time.
An advanced party made up of the Secretary General of the Nigeria Paralympic Committee, Dr. Frank Thorpe and some senior officials of the sports ministry are already in Rio to receive the athletes on arrival tomorrow night.
Rio 2016 Paralympics; Team Nigeria Depart Today
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, charged the athletes to go for gold and be good ambassadors of the country.
Dalung urged them to compete clean at the Games, emphasizing the need for them to be of good behaviour and avoid any act capable of tarnishing the good image of the country.
The Sports Minister sternly warned that the sports ministry will not take it kindly with any athlete caught using performance enhancing drugs.
Dalung stressed that records have shown that Nigeria has been performing well at the Paralympic Games.
At the last edition which held in London in 2012, Nigeria won 6 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals.
President of the Paralympic Committee Nigeria, Monday Emoeghavwe, expressed optimism that the athletes will not let the country down in Rio.
“The expectations are high and the athletes who are already in high spirit to do the country proud by winning laurels at the Games are set to go.”
Paralympic table tennis athlete, Nick Chinedu Emmanuel, said he is not going to Rio to see Marcopolo buses. Rather his mission to Brazil is to win gold for Nigeria.
Also optimistic is power-lifting head coach, Prince Are Feyisetan. Fasiyetan has vowed to repeat his London 2012 feat of six gold medals.
He believes his team will win if the lifters adhere to instructions and there is no biased officiating at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.