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15 cyclists in Abuja camp ahead of two major championships


The Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) says 15 cyclists are already in camp in Abuja ahead of the World Junior Track Championships and Nations Cup Track Cycling Championships.

The federation’s Secretary-General, Shammah Makpa, disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja that the camping was in preparation for the two major championships in 2021.

Makpa said the six-day World Junior Track Cycling Championships are scheduled to commence from September 1 in Egypt.

He added that Colombia would from September 9 to September 13 host the Nations Cup Track Cycling Championships.

‘‘Nigeria will only participate in the track events, which include: Sprint, Team Sprint, Elimination, Individual Pursuit, Team Pursuit, Kerin, Omniun (a six in one event).

“There are also the 500m Time Trial Race, 1 Kilo Time Trial Race, Scratch Event and Point Race.

‘‘These are events were we have comparative advantage and so we will participate in them,” the CFN Secretary-General said.

He disclosed that five male and six female athletes were in camp, alongside four female elite cyclists, already preparing on how to make the country proud.

Makpa expressed confidence that Nigerian cyclists would win medals in the Championships and also take the centre stage in Egypt and Colombia.

“We are at the early stage of the preparations ahead of the World Junior Track Championships in Egypt and the Nations Cup Track in Colombia.

‘‘We have been in camp since last week on intensive training. We have four elite cyclists for the senior category.

`Only the female cyclists have been called to camp and they are already training ahead of the Nations Cup Track Championships in Colombia.

“We will be featuring in the Nations Cup for the first time, while the World Junior Track Championships is going to be our second edition.

‘‘Our previous performance was good. We did not win any medal in the World Junior Track Cup but we were able to improve on our ranking.

‘‘Our target now is to consolidate on our performance, now that they are going for World Championships in track,’’ he said.

Speaking also, the CFN Technical Director, Mohammed Bashiru, added that the cyclists would be in camp till their departure for the championship.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that they were fit before leaving for the two championships.

‘‘For the cyclists to qualify for an Olympics, we must qualify for the World Cup, score more points which would qualify us for the next Olympics.

“So, it’s good that we start early, so that we will be able to participate in the next Olympics,” he said.