By TONY UBANI

After excelling at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Team Nigeria topped the African medals table, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has changed gear towards ensuring another podium finish by securing scholarships for its athletes for Paris 2024 Olympics.

The NOC have named four latest recipients of ANOCA Athlete Support Progrmme for PARIS 2024, with the athletes all regarded as prospects for the Paris Olympic Games.

President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Engr Habu Gumel who is also ANOCA Treasurer- General, announced Enekwechi Chukwuebuka (Athletics), Kolawole Esther Omolayo (Wrestling), Ogbonne Eze Joy(Weightlifting) and Olarinoye Adijat Adenike(Weightlifting) as the recipients.

Gumel said that the funds would support their goal of competing in the Olympic Games.

The four Nigerian athletes are among the 50 athletes chosen by ANOCA as the Commission predicated the allocation process on performance criteria and sports and Olympic ethics.

The ANOCA Athletes’ Support Programme aims to provide support for the preparation and qualification of elite athletes with the potential to qualify and perform well at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Commission recommends that NOCs use part of the grant for their athlete support and preparation activities.

Throwing more light on the ANOCA Athlete Support Programme for Paris 2024, NOC Scribe, Banji Oladapo said; “Chasing an Olympic dream takes incredible determination and talent – these four athletes have all demonstrated they have what it takes. But they also need support to train, compete and maximize their performance opportunities around the world to provide the best opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Paris Games”.

The Games of the XXXIII Olympiad – known as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games – will be the first time in a century and the third time ever that France has hosted the Olympics. The Games were first held in the French capital in 1900 and then again in 1924, with Paris set to become the second city – after London in 1908, 1948 and 2012 – to host the event for a third time.

The Olympic programme will contain 32 sports, with breaking – break dancing to you and me – making its debut. Sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing return again after their successful showings in Tokyo.

The Games officially open on July 26, 2024

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