Abuja – Nigeria’s preparations for the 10th All-Africa Games scheduled for Sept. 3 to Sept. 18 in Maputo, Mozambique, is on course, Sports Minister Taoheed Adedoja has said.
“Preparations for the All-Africa Games (AAG) is an on-going exercise. It is continuous and camping of athletes is just one aspect of it.
“So, if we don’t have all athletes in camp for the games at the moment, Nigerians should not be alarmed. We are really preparing,” he said.
Adedoja, who is also the NSC Chairman, said exposure of athletes to both local and international competitions was a crucial aspect of preparations for the games.
“Camping is only an aspect of preparations, there are other very important aspects, such as the exposure of athletes to various competitions both home and abroad.
“This helps to keep them busy through competitions, not just being kept in camps. The point is that our athletes are currently busy in many competitions across the world.
“For example, our paralympic athletes are in Dubai for a competition and they have been doing well and setting new records.
“This, I can confidently inform, is part of their preparations not only for the AAG but the 2012 Olympics in London,” he said.
The three Nigerians have won medals at the on-going third Faaz International Power lifting Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Esther Onyema won gold in the female 48kg category, Yakubu Adesokan had another gold in the 48kg men’s category, while Ivory Nwokorie got a bronze medal in the 44kg bracket.
The minister said various sports federations whose athletes would be representing Nigeria in Mozambique had been staging various local competitions while also sending them to international competitions.
He said the measure was to select fresh athletes to compete with those already picked for training ahead of the games.
“Sports federations like volleyball, swimming, chess, cricket, special sports, football, athletics, boxing and others, have been involving their athletes in various local and international competitions home and abroad.
“These are all part of the athletes’ preparations and they give them good exposure. So, we are not just relying on keeping the athletes in camps.
“Camping cannot be more relevant than the exposure they (Nigerian athletes) get from international competitions,” Adedoja said.
Nigeria will be taking part in the games with some 800 athletes and officials in 24 sports. (NAN)