Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung received the Nigeria Para Powerlifting contingent at the 9th Fazza Para-powerlifting world Championship in Dubai, UAE as well as the Nigerian Badminton contingent at the recent All Africa Individual Championships in Algeria.
Dalung commended the teams for their resilience despite the shortcomings before, during and after the tournaments.
He said the president could have hosted them but had to attend to issues of national interest.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari sent goodwill messages to both the athletes and officials for being worthy Ambassadors and doing the nation proud at the tournaments.
“President Muhammadu Buhari government is determined to support the development and growth of sports in Nigeria. The para-powerlifting and badminton athletes made us proud despite the challenges faced but we’ll do our best in encouraging them”, he said
Reacting on behalf of the Para Powerlifters, World Champion Paul Kehinde and the Head coach Are Feyisetan recounted their bitter experiences in Dubai.
They revealed that the four gold medals almost eluded them because they had no loaders with them at the World Cup.
“As a coach, you don’t expect me to combine the intellectual work with that of loading. We could have been penalised but we managed to put ourselves together”, Feyisetan said.
Both Oluwafemilayo and Kehinde set new World Records in their respective weight categories at the World Cup in Dubai.
Reacting on behalf of the badminton athlete, Enejoh Abah (captain) solicited more support from the ministry.
He said, “It took the badminton team three weeks to win medals for the country. The coaches and the technical crew brushed us up. The tournament we attended is equivalent to the football nations cup. Our only plea is for the sports ministry to give us little more support ahead of future tournaments”.