4 May 2021
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Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare says any Nigerian athlete who does not show up for the national trials will not represent the country at the track and field events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Dare said this while addressing athletes at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, in preparation for their trip to the United States for meets.
The minister who assured the athletes of the government’s support, said both home-based and foreign-based athletes must present themselves for the national trials in June before the Olympics.
The Nigerian delegation hopes to secure qualification for the relay events of the Olympics in the US, after missing out on the World Relays in Silesia, Poland.
“We are ready to make sure that you go out there in the US, have the meet, have the training, we hope that our team there will also join you. I know they will be quite busy, but the coaches will handle that to create a blend,” Dare said.
“Those that will compete with you are like you. I have heard a lot of noise about COVID-19 and if we are prepared. I have seen so many of you run in the last few months, I have seen the minutes, the track you will run on won’t be different from what they will run there, so I want you to be really encouraged because you have the entire country behind you and supporting you.
“Don’t forget, we have the national trials, everybody whether home-based or overseas-based must show up for our national trials, you don’t show up for the national trials, you will not make Team Nigeria’s Olympics team.
“We are also preparing for Algiers in June, which is a major one, but I am sure by the time you come back from the US, the national trials and the African Championships will be really close, we will see how we can manage it. After Algiers, we all leave for Kisarazu (Japan), where we have secured a camp exclusively for Nigerian athletes. We will be there for two-and-a-half weeks before the Olympics starts,” he added.