By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria will between November 20 and 27, 2023 host the 9th African Canoe Sprint Championship in Abuja.
President of the Nigeria Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation, (NRCSF) Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (Rtd) who disclosed this to Heritage Times (HT), said the event also serves as the 2024 Olympics qualification window.
Admiral Porbeni said at least 20 Nations across the continent have confirmed their participation.
He then assured that Nigeria will stage a befitting Championship where top performers will stand the chance of advancing towards Paris Olympics.
Talking about steps taking so far to ensure successful hosting of the competition, the federation President said, “We will continue to work the Nigeria’s sports ministry so as to stage a befitting championship. The ministry is the mother of the federations and the minister has assured us that he will support our programme.”
The NRCSF President further highlighted that Nigerian athletes will benefit hugely from the tournament adding, “It is very important to host the championship in Nigeria because our athletes will benefit from the hosting. We are prepared and I can tell you that 17 athletes will represent Nigeria in the championship.
“Our athletes don’t need visas to travel because it is done here and what we just need to do is to select best athletes that can give us good representation.”
Nigeria took part in Rowing and Canoeing event at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan, but failed to make a podium finish.