ABUJA – No fewer than 30 athletes and officials of Team Nigeria on Monday departed Abuja for a pre-tournament camping in London ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glassgow, Scotland.
The athletes are the first batch of Team Nigeria which left for London through the Murtala Mohammed International Airports, Lagos after arriving from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Eleven boxers and 15 weightlifters are on the first batch, while five other five sports federations will join later.
The 11 boxers who departed for London comprised of eight males and three females, while the weightlifting team had eight males and seven lifters for the various categories.
The Games are scheduled to take place in Glasgow from July 23 to Aug. 3 and will see Nigeria participate in seven sports, including Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Shooting, Athletics, Table Tennis and Para-Powerlifting.
Bolaji Ojo-Oba, the Director, National Sports Federations and Elite Athletes and Development, told NAN on telephone that the plan was to keep the athletes close to Glasgow.
Ojo-Oba said the athletes would move into the Games Village in Glassgow on July 23 from their London pre-tournament camp.
“They are going straight into the various sports training camps from where they will move into the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village; it’s a pre-tournament camp,’’ Ojo-Oba said.
He said that the various sports federations would have their own leaders of delegation as the team depart for the pre-tournament camping, while the “Chef de Mission’’ would take over when the Games begin.
Ojo-Oba, who failed to disclose when the other sports would depart for London, revealed that Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) would serve as Chef de Mission.
He also said that he (Ojo-Oba) would act as the deputy Chef de Mission.
Meanwhile, Efetobor Apochi, the captain of Nigeria’s boxing team to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, said they were in high spirit heading into the pre-tournament camping.
Apochi told NAN over the telephone that the pre-tournament camping in the U.K. was better than nothing after their foreign training tour of Cuba was cancelled.
“The boxers are very positive; this is not the time for regret since the Cuban tour could not materialise.
“The energy we have now is not for the negative but positive,’’ Apochi said. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]