Africa’s Queen of the Tracks, Blessing Okagbare, is top on the list of athletes from Nigeria that will be benefiting from the Rio 2016 Scholarship for Athletes programme, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, have announced.
The NOC is positive that the gesture to the outstanding elite athletes will go a long way in improving Nigeria’s chances for medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil
The Secretary General of the NOC, Tunde Popoola, said that the Scholarship for the athletes was a good incentive that would allow the athletes to prepare well with the best facilities and challenge for medals in Brazil.
The beneficiaries would also be paid an unspecified amount of money from now till the Rio Olympics.
One of the athletes was later dropped on grounds of being involved in doping.
The eleven approved beneficiaries include speedstar Blessing Okagabare(Athletics), Nneka Reginald(Athletics), Ese Brume(Athletics), Christian Amechi Morton(Athletics), and Divine Oduduru.
Others are Maryam Usman(Weightlifting), Victoria O. Adesanmi(Weightlifting), Aruna Quadri(Table Tennis), Edem Offiong(Table Tennis), Jonathan Akinyemi(Canoe/Kayaki) and Adekuoroye Odumayo(Wrestling).
Nine Nigerian elite athletes also benefited from the London 2012 Olympic Scholarship for athletes.
The Nigerian athletes were selected through the nomination of the Nigeria Olympic Committee with their various sports federations.
Nigeria failed to win any medal at the London Olympics in 2012.