The Team Nigeria contingent to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games today will leave for Brazil on Thursday (today). An official of the sports ministry told The PUNCH via the telephone on Wednesday that the arrangements had been concluded.
“We are leaving from Abuja aboard an Emirates flight,” she said.
The team made up of 23 athletes, six coaches and one athlete’s competition partner are billed to fly out through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 5pm Nigeria time. The Games will hold from September 7 to18.
The Secretary General of the Paralympic Committee Nigeria, Dr. Frank Thorpe and some officials of the sports ministry left for Rio as an advance party last weekend.
The Committee report stated that sports minister Solomon Dalung asked the athletes to go for gold and also be good ambassadors of the country. He reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand that they should endeavour to compete cleanly at the Games.
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Nigeria won 6 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze.
One of the athletes Nick Chinedu, a table tennis player said he was on a mission to Brazil to win gold for Nigeria.
He said, “Yes, there are so many Marcopolo buses to see there but that is not my purpose of going to Rio. My mission is to win gold for Nigeria and by the grace of God I will come back to Nigeria with one.”
The powerlifting coach, Are Feyisetan who has boasted to repeat the London 2012 Games haul of 6 gold medals if all things work well. Nigeria will compete in only three sports – para-athletics, powerlifting and table-tennis.