Nigerian athletes and technical hands have departed the country through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on their way to the United States.
The athletes, 16 of them, will camp in Texas for three weeks during which they will engage in competitions ahead of Olympics in Tokyo slated for Friday, 23 July and Sunday, 8 August 2021.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who shared photos of their departure at the airport on Thursday.
Thursday : Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, I saw off 16 athletes and Technical hands to Texas USA for 3 weeks of camping and competitions ahead of the Olympics. We thank President Buhari who through the Finance Ministry has provided adequate funds @thecableng pic.twitter.com/pcdYMUmxxj
— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) May 6, 2021
The training tour, however, remains a point of controversy between the ministry and Athletics Federation Nigeria (AFN).
On April 29, the federation announced that Team Nigeria won’t be participating in the World Athletics (WA) relays in Poland, blaming the failure on the insistence of the sports ministry to take the players to the US instead.
The athletics federations said the decision has shrunk Nigeria’s chance of competing at the relay events in Tokyo later this year.
See some photos of the athletes below;