LONDON OLYMPICS: DELTA OUTSHINES FG
Delta, the State reputed for giant strides in sports, yesterday scored another first, in the area of sports development when it doled out the sum of N25m to Delta athletes who have prospects of competing at the London Olympic Games.
Nigeria's brightest prospect for a medal at the next Olympic Games, Blessing Okagbare, will have a reasonable share of the training grant.
This initiative by Delta State, will shame the federal government, who through the National Sports Commission (NSC), is responsible for the preparation of athletes who will represent Nigeria at the biggest sporting extravaganza on earth.
With barely over six months to the flag off of the Games, it is on record that Nigerian athletes are yet to begin preparations for London 2012, a prerequisite to fail at the event. But mindful of the embarrassment that such a failure will have on the country's already battered sporting image, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in Asaba,, spurred Okagbare, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing OlympicGames, with the training grant
Uduaghan said that more money was going to be given to Delta athletes preparing for the Games.
Represented by the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba, Gov Uduaghan said that the money was meant to assist Okagbare and other athletes get their Olympics preparations off the ground.
'This is just our own little way of boosting our athletes ahead of the Games. We want syou to use the money to train, so that you would be able to compete with the world's best in London', Ogba said on behalf of the Governor.
Overwhelmed by the governor's brief remarks, Okagbare, whose best time so far in the 100m is 11sec flat, expressed her gratitude and promised to do her best at the Olympics.
She added that she would have Delta State in her mind when she is competing for honours at the Games, beginning in July.
'This is just overwhelming for me and I can only promise you and the good people of Delta State that I would do my utmost best in London. You can also be sure that I would have Delta on my mind when I am running or jumping', said Okagbare, whose leap of 6.88 fetched her a bronze medal at the last Games in Beijing.
She has since improved on that, jumping 6.91.