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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Team Nigeria wins maiden African Admiral Porbeni Canoe Race |

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Team Nigeria has emerged overall winner of the maiden African Admiral Porbeni Canoe Race championships at the Jabi Boat Club in Abuja, Nigeria.

The championship began last Thursday and ended last Sunday with no fewer than 100 athletes from five African countries including, Ghana, Senegal, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo and the host, Nigeria, taking part in the four-day event.

Team Nigeria amassed a total of 21 medals, including 14 Gold, six silver and one bronze to emerge the overall winners of the event.

Sao Tome and Principe came second with 14 medals, including one gold, six silver and seven bronze. Senegal finished third with 12 medals, including one gold, three silver, and eight bronze.

Nigeria’s Ayomide Bello finished as the overall best female athlete, winning three gold medals in all the three events she competed for including the 1000m C1 women, 200m C1 women and 500m C1 women. Bello was ranked 13th in the 2019 Championships in Hungary and also won 4 gold medals from four events as a rower at the Admiral Porbeni Boat Race in 2021.

Yinlayefa Godhelp, Nigeria’s youngest athlete, also won gold in two events: the 1000m K1 women and the 500m K1 women.

Godhelp, who was found only a year ago, established herself as a young phenomenon by winning the 500-metre C1 race at the National Sports Festival.

She went on to represent Nigeria at the second Africa Beach Games in Tunisia in 2023, finishing fourth in her first international competition.

Team Nigeria went home with a 3,000 dollars prize money, while Sao Tome and Principe pocketed 2,000 dollars with Senegal taking 1,000 dollars.

Team Nigeria’s Captain, Moses Michael, expressed joy at the team’s victory, adding that it wasn’t an easy feat even though everyone had high expectations for the team.

In preparation for the team for the Olympics qualifiers in November and Paris 2024, Michael stressed on the need to open training camp early for the athletes, adding that the Olympics was already around the corner.

Micheal appealed to the Federal Government to assist the team because November is around the corner and Olympics training is expected to commence immediately. Some athletes in other countries have started preparations for the Olympics a year ahead of the event.

Dignitaries at the event were Emmanuel Ogalla, the Chief of Naval Staff and Thomas Konietzko, the President, of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) and Festus Porbeni, President of the Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation.

Others are, Joao Afonso, the 1st Vice President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and Habu Gumel, the president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).

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