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Nigerian athletes fly out to Berlin 2009

The last batch of  Nigeria’s team to the 12th IAAF World Championships flew out of Lagos last night with the hope of winning medals, despite tough conditions experienced during their camping ahead of the Berlin 2009 athletics gathering.

The first group left on Sunday with the secretary of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Mrs. Maria Wophil, while the second and last batched left last night with the  president of the federation, Chief Solomon Ogba, hopeful that the country will not return in disgrace.

“We are going to do our very best in Berlin. It has been difficult preparing for the championships, but that has not dampened our spirit,” said Ogba who was due to attend the IAAF Congress, but stayed behind to sort out issues concerning the team.

“I have to make sure that all monies for allowances are intact. I don’t want us to go to Berlin and then we have athletes grumbling over unpaid allowances. The Congress is important, but when two insects are climbing  on your skin you go after the one that itch you most,” said the Delta chief.

He disclosed that it has been tasking raising money for the championships as the National Sports Commission was not forthcoming with cash; he added that it was important that Nigeria graced the occasion.

“This is just like our own World Cup in track and field. We hope that Nigeria will begin to take athletics seriously if we are to catch up with the rest of the world,” concludes the former Delta State sports commissioner.


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