The duo of Ahmed Koleosho and Tajudeen Agunbiade will start Nigeria’s quest for medals at his year’s Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, as they go out wheelchair table tennis action on the first day of events, megasportsarena.com reports.
Koleosho and Agunbiade are part of Team Nigeria’s 22-athlete contingent to Tokyo Paralympics, which is Nigeria’s eighth consecutive appearance since making a debut appearance almost three decades ago at Barcelona 92.
Nigerian Paralympians have already won 70 medals in their past outings and their last outing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, saw them garner eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals that became the country’s best, and which the contingent to Tokyo 2020 will seek to beat.
After finishing as Africa’s best team and 17th overall in the world on the medals table at Rio 2016, Nigeria will seek a better haul this time from participating in four events – Powerlifting, Para-Athletics, Para-Table Tennis and Para-Rowing.
As the current contingent seeks to better the record that was set in Rio, Nigeria’s quest for medals this time out will begin in para-table tennis, with Koleosho and Agunbiade stepping out on the first day of action.
While Koleosho is pitched against Thomas Bruche of Germany in the men’s singles class 3, Agunbiade faces Ivan Thai of Ukraine in class 9; ahead of which the Nigerian team’s captain, Lucy Ejike assured of a medals; haul for the country.
Speaking on arrival at their Kisarazu training camp in Japan, from where they will head to Tokyo, Ejike said the team trained very hard and they used the final training camp to perfect strategies that should see them win medals and break records at the Games.
Ejike stated: “We have been training seriously to make sure we meet up with the standard we set at previous games. Everything is going on well.
”We are confident we will bring glory to Nigeria. We have world records, so we hope to maintain the records and create new ones.”
A leading Para Powerlifter in the contingent, Nnamdi Innocent added: “We are grateful to the Minister for his support and encouragement.
“What he did for us during the lockdown will motivate us to excel in Tokyo. We have many world records and our target is to go there and make Nigeria proud.”