Glasgow 2014:Team Nigeria departs in batches

first_imgDespite the unimpressive preparation for the multi-sports competition and less than five days to the kick off of the games, the first batch of Team Nigeria yesterday departed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The games hold from July 23 to August 3.  With Nigeria competing in athletics, table tennis, wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, shooting and para-sports, the first batch made up of table tennis and boxing athletes left aboard Ethiopia and British Airlines to Scotland. The para-sports contingent is expected to depart this weekend as well.  Less attention has been given to the preparation of the team for the games with some of the athletes lamenting the attitude of the National Sports Commission (NSC) towards the team.  However, it was learnt that key officers in the NSC were all in Brazil for the World Cup without proper planning for Team Nigeria that will compete in Scotland.  However, the table tennis players had the opportunity to compete at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour in Lagos, which the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) top shots feel would help prepare the players for the Games. The NTTF also organised camping for the athletes in order to be in fine form.  It would be recalled that in May, the President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba decried the non-release of fund to the federation to commence preparation for the games.   “We have two months to the Commonwealth Games and funds are yet to be released; at this stage, it is only President Jonathan that can rescue the situation.  “If not, we are going to come back for another retreat to ask what happened and why we didn’t do well. We have all it takes to do well if the right things are done; the budget was not approved early and that is an issue.  “ Even if the budget was not approved early, we know that some level of expenditure can also be done once the budget has gone to the National Assembly.  “There is an approval, but the money is not getting where it should and I don’t think Mr President knows; so except he intervenes at this stage and the NSC gets money to prepare for the games, there is nothing anybody can do and it will be the same old story,’’ Ogba lamented.  Also his counterpart in wrestling, Daniel Igali bemoaned the way Nigerian athletes were preparing for the games.  He said it was abnormal for athletes to prepare on their own for competitions such as the Commonwealth Games.    “It is in the best interest of Nigeria that we adequately prepare our athletes because other countries are not sleeping.  “I cannot give assurance of winning medals because we are not ready, you don’t go to the Commonwealth Games of about 70 nations competing without being prepared.  “We are not adequately prepared; anyone who tells you that we are, is playing politics and I don’t want to play politics with anybody,’’ Igali said.  Through singular effort of Igali, 11 wrestlers on Monday departed the shores of the country for a training tour of Romania ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.   Meanwhile, two members of Cameroun’s Commonwealth Games team have gone missing from a training camp.  The men, aged 26 and 31, are both wrestlers and had been with their country’s pre-Games camp in Aberdeen.  Police are trying to trace the pair, who were reported missing Tuesday afternoon, but were last seen at the Hillhead Halls of Residence in Don Street at around 8.30pm on Sunday.  One of the missing men is 5ft 8in and was wearing a black jumper and trousers, a white body warmer and a black woolly hat.  The other man is around 5ft 4in and of thin build with a prominent scar on his left cheek, police said. He was wearing sports clothing when last seen. Neither man has been named.   The Cameroun team of 47 athletes arrived in Aberdeen last week for their final Glasgow 2014 preparations.last_img read more