The Nigerian Aquatic Federation has emerged 31st in global ranking in the just concluded World Aquatic Championship in Fukuoka, Japan.
This was made known in Lagos by the country’s first female president of the federation, Chief Chinoye Daphey Aliyu who led Team Nigeria to the world championship.
She commended Nigeria’s athletes, who she noted made Nigeria proud.
According to the Ukwani, Delta State-born President, Team Nigeria showed great enthusiasm, tact, capacity, competence and resilience all through the competition saying: “I am proud of Team Nigeria who demonstrated discipline and the can-do spirit of an average Nigerian.”
She affirmed that the Nigerian contingent to the tournament was made up of four swimmers: Collins Ebighan, Clinton Opute, Dorcas Okar, Adaku Nwandu; the team’s Coach, Sunday Tilije accompanied by two board members, Mrs. Stella Ebegboni and the Secretary General, Mr. Joel Akinluwa.
Nigeria’s Aquatic Federation the imperatives of developing athletes who should be better funded for greater outing at the global stage, Aliyu said, adding that Nigeria has proven once again to be the giant of Africa but more work needs to be done in promoting the Nigerian brand.
Aliyu noted that if well funded, Nigerian athletes have all it takes to become one of the 10 best nations of swimmers in the world, saying the feat attained at the Japan 2023 will definitely unlock the potential of athletes in the country.
She stressed that, but for the paucity of funds, Team Nigeria would have done better as she called on the government to rise up to the occasion towards early preparation of the nation’s athletes.
Nigeria’s Clinton Opute got a scholarship award by the world athletic body to study in Budapest, Hungary, on account of his exemplary swimming talent.
Meanwhile, the tournament which came to a close on Sunday saw a new record set by a Swede, Sarah Sjostrom surpassing Michael Phelps’ record as the World Aquatic Federation drew the curtain of this year’s championship.