• You made us proud, says AFN’s boss
Trilled by the feat of junior athletes at the just-ended World U20 Championship in Nairobi, Kenya, the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, is said to have concluded plans to host the Team Nigeria today in Abuja.
For the first time in the history of Nigeria’s participation in the World Athletics U20 Championships, the country returned home with four gold and three bronze medals.
The country’s representatives finished third in the overall medals table with four gold and three bronze medals, behind host, Kenya, which came top with eight gold, a silver and seven bronze medals as Finland ended in a second position with four gold and a silver medal.
The Guardian, yesterday, learnt that the sports ministry was excited over the country’s performance in Nairobi and had put everything in place to welcome the contingent in Abuja today.
Some of the athletes left Nairobi for Abuja on Ethiopian Airline in the early hours of yesterday, while others left by Rwanda Air.
Meanwhile, the AFN president, Tonobok Okowa, has revealed that the athletes would be given the needed boost to succeed in their career.
Okowa praised the athletes, their coaches and other officials to Nairobi 2021 World U20 Championships for doing the nation proud.
Okowa said: “Majority of these athletes will represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games, African Championships and Paris 2024 Olympics. We have started the race to Paris 2024 Olympics.”
Also speaking with The Guardian on the success of Team Nigeria at Nairobi 2021, the Technical Director of the AFN, Samuel Onikeku, said he was impressed with athletes, particularly their discipline during the period of the championships.