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Committee eyes more para-athletes slot at C’Wealth Games

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Vice-President of the Nigeria Paralympic Committee, Anderson Bankole, says they are looking to have more para-athletes representation at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The Games is billed to hold from July 28 to August 8, 2022.

Nigerian para-athletes are widely renowned for their successes at different competitions including the Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships

Para-sports contributed eight of the 24 medals Nigeria won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

While able-bodied sports athletes had four gold medals, para-athletes won five gold and three silver medals in para-athletics, para powerlifting and para-table tennis.

However, Bankole believes they can do better in terms of medals return if more para-athletes are taken to the Games as they are more into individual sports.

“We have a lot of federations coming up in para-sports – Taekwondo, wheelchair basketball, shooting and others.

“The ministry has to focus on individual events like para-table tennis and para-powerlifting that’s the best way we can win medals

“If Nigeria can present enough para-athletes, we can be sure of being ranked around the top 10 countries at the Games.

“The ministry just realised that more medals can come from the para-athletes. There’s a new department in the sports ministry that has been established for para-sports. With this, the ministry will provide more funds for para federations to qualify more athletes for the Commonwealth Games,” Bankole told The PUNCH.

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