Abuja – Members of Team Nigeria, on Friday, wore different colours of masks during their parade at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony.
Our correspondent, who monitored the opening parades, observed that, unlike other countries, the joyful Nigerian delegation wore masks of different colours.
While some wore white, others wore sky blue, and black.
Also, the nose masks worn by some of the Team Nigeria members were customised while others were not.
Among the countries that wore uniform masks during their colourful parades are France, United States, Mali, Lithuania, Portugal, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Poland, and Belgium.
One of Nigeria’s basketballers, Precious Amukamora, was also seen without a nose mask during the parade.
Pictures that surfaced after the parade also showed members of the Nigerian delegation without their nose masks, an action that negates the COVID-19 protocols laid down by the organisers.
Prolific table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, and World number one freestyle wrestler in 57 kg, Odunayo Adekuroye, flew the Nigerian flag during the parade.
Unlike many countries, Nigeria, however, complied with the International Olympic Committee directive of having a male and female flagbearer.
Also, Ethiopian male swimmer Abdelmalik Muktar and Tajikistani male judoka Temur Rakhimov waved the flags of their respective countries, in spite of having a mixed delegation.
Congo, on the other hand, had only female sprinter Natacha Ngoye Akamabi represent their mixed team.
Other countries that only had a male flagbearer, such as the United Arab Emirates, had a male-only delegation.
Delegations of countries known for conservative gender values complied with the IOC request, as male rower Husein Alireza and female judoka Tahani Alqahtani waved as they held the Saudi Arabian flag.
Earlier, The PUNCH had reported that members of the Team Nigeria contingent in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wore different attire when they arrived at the Games village.
After the report, pictures of the contingent in green T-shirts with Nigeria inscribed on them, and black shorts flooded social media platforms Saturday morning – the first time the team were uniformly dressed.
The earlier report showed how the athletes and officials wore different attires on their arrival in Japan, with one of them putting on an Arsenal jersey during the visit of the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Abubakar Moriki, to the team’s camp.