By Obi Martins Okafor.
The opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games kicks off today. Out of the 26 sports which will be taking place in 28 venues, Nigeria will participate in 13 of the 26 sport events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This was announced by the Ministry of Sports.
Of the 13 sports, nine will be for the Olympics proper, while the other four will be in the Paralympics for physically-challenged athletes.
A release from the ministry yesterday signed by Julius Ogunro, the Special Adviser (Media) to the supervising minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, listed the Olympic sports in which Nigeria plans to participate in. the sports include canoeing, table tennis, taekwondo and wrestling, all of which the country has already qualified for.
The others are badminton, basketball, boxing and weightlifting, events for which the country is yet to qualify.
In Paralympics, Nigeria has qualified for para-powerlifting, para-table tennis and wheelchair tennis, while awaiting qualification for para-athletics.
The Nigerian athletes who have qualified for the Olympics are Damola Osayomi, Blessing Okagbare, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Ajoke Odumosu and Doreen Amata for the Athletics (Track and field); Jonathan Akinyemi for Canoeing; Funke Oshinaike, Segun Toriola and Edem Offiong for Table Tennis; Chika Chukwumerije for Taekwondo.
The list for the Paralympics division is: Egbnola Oluade, Jegede Bambom, Nnajiofor Chinonso for Para-Lifting; Adisa Tunde, Alabi Olufemi for Para-table tennis and others.
The Ministry of Sports also announced that it is collaborating with the Bank of Industry to open a Nigerian Village throughout the period of the Olympic Games and Paralympics to showcase Nigeria’s rich history and diverse cultures.