Nigeria’s cycling team began their quest to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the African Track Cycling Championship, which flagged off in Cairo, Egypt, at the weekend.
According to the Nigeria Cycling Federation (NCF), eight women cyclists, made up of six senior and two junior riders, who were in a training camp for over two weeks ahead of the event, are representing the country.
Speaking on the championship, a board member of the Nigeria Cycling Federation (NCF), Femi Thomas, expressed optimism that Team Nigeria would excel in Egypt, saying that all logistics support to enhance their performance have been provided by federation.
“After spending over two weeks in the country training for the African track cycling event, the Nigerian cycling team were still directed by the NCF to undergo another training camp in Cairo under the supervision of Jean Pierre Van Zyl, the Director of World Cycling Centre (Africa) at International Cycling Union Centre, South Africa and his counterpart, Mohammed Ibrahim from Egypt.
“NCF board member and Confederation Africa Cycling (CAC) Secretary General, Bashir Mohammed, will be present at the championship, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2024 Olympics and World Championships coming up in France next year,” Thomas said.
He was optimistic that the team would be successful going by the level of preparations they had in Nigeria, saying: “They left for Cairo on Monday to be able to acclimatise and get further training to put them in good shape.
“The Federation is trying its best to ensure the team get enough points to qualify for both the Olympics and World Championships next year.”
Thomas, who doubles as chairman, Ogun State Cycling Association, disclosed that the NCF is hoping for victory at the tournament to put Nigeria at the World map in cycling.
Meanwhile, the NCF has revealed that it would open camp for the Tour Du Benin in Abeokuta from March 19 to April 27, 2023.
It said the first screening of athletes will hold on April 9, while the second exercise will be done on April 23, 2023, adding that cyclists selected for the competition will depart for Benin Republic on March 27 and return to the country on May 8.