For the first time in the history of judo in Nigeria, two Lagos judokas have been listed among the competitors at the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Judo Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The National Gymnastics Arena in Baku will host the six-day tournament from September 23rd to 28th as Nigeria will be competing at the tournament for the first time.
The three-man team has Oladele Kekere and Grace Egbobi as athletes and they will be coached by Janet Omohodion.
The athletes are at present warming up in camp in readiness for the tournament as they are expected to depart the country on September 22nd.
According to the chairman of the Lagos State Judo Association (LSJA), Sheriff Hammed, the trip became necessary for the athletes to compete internationally against their counterparts while lauding Lagos State government for deeming it fit to bankroll the trip.
“I am so happy that Lagos is achieving another first in judo as the first state in Nigeria to present athletes for the IBSA Grand Prix which is another motivation for judokas across the state. I am also elated that this is coming at a time when judo is taking a leap in the country.
“This is a rare opportunity for the athletes as they etch their name in the annals of history as the first Nigerian athletes to compete at the IBSA event and we hope and believe the experience would be handy for them going forward.
“This will surely encourage other athletes to continue to work harder to be able to benefit from this kind of gesture. In Lagos, we are always setting the pace and we hope other states will take a cue from this by encouraging their athletes who are challenged to aim high in the sport.
“We are grateful to our governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the gesture and we will continue to put Lagos on the world map as our athletes fly Nigeria’s flag for the first time in such international championships,” he said.
Apart from competing, the athletes will be part of the training camp which will take place after the championships on September 28th to October 4th at the Sumgayit Olympic Sports Complex in Baku.
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