The Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation at the weekend started its preparation for the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing, China, with trials for fresh talents in Lagos.
For the first time, Nigerian fans saw the bobsled team in action at the national stadium, Lagos, on Saturday, where a one-day trial was held for the athletes.
In 2018, the team surprised the world when it became the first set of Africans to participate in the winter Olympics held in Korea.
The trial to select athletes for the 2022 Games was witnessed by top Nigerian sports officials, including the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Banji Oladapo, Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa, and former Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye.
At the end of the trial in Lagos, Lawal Kadijat Kolawole, Grace Bassey and Kolawole Zenab gave a good account of themselves in women’s category of the Skeleton team, while Kehinde Otukoya, Michael Adegun and Kpelume Adepoju topped in the men’s category.
Bobsled athletes later completed their trial at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Speaking after the trials, president of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria (BSFN), Solomon Ogba, said 60 percent of Bobsled and Skeleton events do not need cold weather, adding that between eight and 10 athletes would begin a tour of some European countries in the first week of October.
He commended Dr. Seun Adegun for her effort in seeing that Bobsled and Skeleton became a sport in Nigeria.
Ogba added: “The last phase of qualifiers for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing will hold between October this year and January 2022. We have to get our team in place.”
Seun Adigun’s father also flew from his base in the United States to be part of the one-day trial in Lagos. Recall that the first Nigerian Bobsled team was established in 2016 by Seun Adigun, and in 2018, the team made its debut at the Winter Olympics.