As Nigeria prepares for the 22nd Commonwealth Games scheduled for Birmingham, the United Kingdom from July 28 to August 8, 2022, all roads now lead to Edo State, the venue for the trials for athletes to represent Nigeria in another anticipated great event which is aimed at uniting the Commonwealth family through sport.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City is selected by the Ministry of sports to host the trial for athletes that would be representing the country in Birmingham, due to its richness in world standard facilities.
Speaking ahead of the trials scheduled for June 24th to 26th, the Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, Yussuf Alli has said that the state has put everything in place for a successful hosting of the trials.
Yussuf Alli made known the state’s preparation on Friday evening at his office in Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
“I think it’s a very big thing for the state and for the very first time in this championship, Edo State would be hosting and we are happy that we are hosting and we have been putting everything into gear to host an itch free event.”
“You would agree with me that in this country right now, we have the best facilities when it comes to track and field and we are trying to capitalize on that, so we are ready and we are only waiting for the athletes and officials arrivals.”
“Also, in hosting this, it’s part of our plans to make Edo the Sports destination in this country and that’s why we cleverly pick events to host, bringing people to Benin which will also help boost the state’s commerce.”
Speaking on the country’s target for the Commonwealth Games in proper, Alli who doubles as Team Nigeria’s Coordinator for the Commonwealth Games said the atmosphere is conducive to better our performance at the last edition.
“Definitely, we will do better than the previous edition because we are putting all things in place this time. Athletes are in top gear, the Nigeria government is well prepared for this event and the Sports ministry and Nigeria Olympic Committee, I must give it to them, for once, they are on the same page meaning the identifying and monitoring of athletes is well taken care off and what we lacked in the past has now been addressed. Previously, we just go to Commonwealth, but now, we are doing “Pick Where It Counts” meaning all the team’s sports, and individual sports will be picked at the games meaning that they gave cleverly chosen events they have taken part in and the events they will participate in as a tune-up to the games; I think with all that, we will be ready and Nigeria will do well.”
“It’s an open and closed trial, so we are expecting about 488 athletes from where we expect to get the best and about 111 officials for the trials.”
The University of Missouri graduate also took out time to commend the athletes that represented the country at the just concluded African Games in Mauritius.
“I must commend them because they did well even without having the top athletes there and that’s to tell you that Nigeria has a stable where athletes are throud out for events. Despite not having our top athletes at the event, we still did well, which means the depth is very good and I’m very happy and pleased with what happened in Mauritius.
Nigeria will look to better the last edition where they won 9 gold, 10 silvers and 6 bronze medals to place Scotland, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, India, England, and Australia