Nigeria’s poor Olympic fortunes could be changed for the better, beginning with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games if government, through the National Sports Commission gives the necessary support to the growth and development of water sports.
This was the belief of Rear Admiral Azubuike Ajonu, Flag Officer Naval Training Command, who was guest of honour at the pre-Independence dinner for the forthcoming Independence Day Water Race being put together by the Navy Sailing Club, Navy Town, Lagos.
Admiral Ajonu said, “the Navy Sailing Club is working in synergy with the Nigeria Swimming Federation to ensure the country’s medal prospects are bettered in future international competitions like the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.”
Continuing, the naval chief explained that “it was unfortunate at what happened in the last Olympics where Nigeria could not win a single medal.
The Sailing Club is organizing a race to mark our national day and it will signal a new dawn for water sport in this country and in the near future, we may produce medalists in water sports.”
The Commodore of the Navy Sailing Club,, Babatunde Ajayi said the club could train potential gold medalists for Nigeria if it was given the necessary backing.
Ajayi said, “this year’s independence race is aimed at sensitizing people on the need to develop water sport in the country. We have very young talents being taught swimming, canoeing, rowing, kayaki, sailing, water polo, who can do wonders on water. As we catch them young, we have Rio Olympics on our minds. We can win medals for Nigeria.”
Tunde Daramola who is in charge of sailing in the club said Nigeria should stop crying over the London Olympics because they did not prepare for the games.
“We are already preparing for Rio,” he said, adding, “the October race will feature young athletes who will be good enough to win medals for the country in Rio.”