London 2012: DG Assures Nigerians 0f 10 Gold Medals
Nigerian athletes have the capability to win about 10 gold medals at the Olympics and Paralympic Games later in the year, according to Patrick Ekeji, Director-General of the National Sports Commission.
Ekeji told newsmen on Monday, in Abuja, that the commission’s optimism of a successful outing was because of the ongoing preparation for the two competitions.
“Our objective now is to have about 10 gold medals, and we are positive that we can get them at both games in view of our preparations in both categories of Games,’’ he said.
However, Ekeji said that the number of medals expected from the athletes was a projection.
“No country can tell you at this moment the number of medals its athletes will win in London; it is only China, perhaps, who are the defending champions.
“But what we are doing is to ensure we perform better than we did at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and I am sure we are on course to do that,’’ he said.
The former Green Eagles defender said that he would only be able to speak specifically on Nigeria’s participation at the two Games in the coming weeks.
“Before we go for the Games, it will be possible to say something about the specifics of what we can win at the Games.
“But right now, I can only say our preparations are on course and we are pleased with what we have presently,’’ Ekeji said.
Our correspondent reports that the 2012 Olympic Games will hold in London from July 27 to August 12, with Nigeria taking part in seven sports.
The event will be followed at the same venue by the 2012 Paralympic Games, which will hold from August 29 to September 9, with the Nigerian team participating in three sports.
The director-general said that the two games were important to Nigeria because of the premium it placed on the development of all categories of athletes.
“We are devoting attention to both Games because we know the importance of both events, and the capability of our athletes in all the sports to be competed for,’’ he said.