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Nigeria brings athletes back to the Games

18 July 2002

The Nigeria Olympic Committee has named 112 athletes and 48 officials to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games.

Nigerian flag

At a ceremony held to bid farewell to the team, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) president, Habu Gumel said: "We are confident that with the crop of athletes selected, our contingent will prove themselves worthy ambassadors at the games,"

Due to political reasons, Nigeria did not participate in the 1998 Commonwealth Games so this time they are determined to make up for lost time and bring back as many medals as possible.

"Not withstanding our long absence, we are very hopeful that our contingent will return from Manchester with our hands full of medals," Gumel said.

The NOC president told of their plans to establish a national Olympic Academy which it hoped would increase sport activities in Nigeria, which is the most populous African country.

"We are also determined to establish a functional library and sports information research centre to serve the needs of the media, researchers, students and the sporting community," he said.

Gumel also talked of plans to establish a dope testing centre in Nigeria as part of preparations to host the All-Africa Games next year.

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