There are strong indications that Nigeria plans presenting 91 athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games slated for Gold Coast, Australia in April, aclsports.com gathered. Team Nigeria athletes for the games camped across the country in three locations; Abuja and Port Harcourt on Tuesday, ended the first phase of camping.
The country had 126 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland but will be short of 45 athletes when the Nigerian flag will be hoisted in Gold Coast. This could be attributed to the failure of the country to attend several qualifiers and preliminary in the year 2017.
In 2014, Nigeria presented the a squad of 49 athletes in 8 sports namely; 49 athletes in Athletics; 11 Boxers; 5 athletes in Para-Athletics; 6 Para-Powerlifters; 16 shooter; 10 athletes in Table Tennis; 15 Weightlifter and 14 wrestlers.
The athletes made the country proud by winning a total of 36 medals from the following sports: Athletics (3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze), Boxing (3 bronze), Para Powerlifting (4 gold and 2 silver), Table Tennis (1 bronze), weightlifting (2gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze) and wrestling (2 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze).
Four years later, the team is presenting a lesser team consisting of 91 athletes with 9 sports, this year Shooting is dropped as Basketball and Para-Table Tennis come in.
The sports and number of athletes will be: 40 athletes in Athletics, 12 Basketballers, 8 Boxers, 3 athletes in Para Athletics, 6 Para Powerlifters, 2 Para Table Tennis players, 4 Table Tennis players, 4 Weightlifters and 12 Wrestlers.
Despite breaking World Records at the 2016 Rio Paralympic and 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico, the number of lifters remains same compared to 2014. The athletics team reduced by 9, weightlifters reduced by 11, Para Athletics reduced by 2, boxers by 3, Table Tennis suffered same fate falling from 10 players to 4, while wrestling trimmed down by 2.
As the first phase of the camping exercise comes to an end, athletes have been paid their camping allowances and are expected to resume the second phase of camping later this month or early February.