The University of Lagos (Unilag), the host institution for the 26th Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA), has reassured that Team Unilag would ‘host-to-win’ the games holding from March 19 to March 26.
The officials and athletes of Team Unilag told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the hosts were well prepared for a memorable’ NUGA games.
The Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) NUGA 2022, Joseph Awoyinfa, told NAN in Lagos that the host university would feature a 382-strong contingent for the all-university games fiesta.
“We are fired up to win the games and not just to host alone. We have a 382-strong squad who have been training hard to bring glory to the university.
“We are on the path to host and win the NUGA 2022 because other universities will be presenting a lower number of athletes compared to our numbers, so our numerical strength should be to our advantage,” he said.
The Chief Coach of Athletics, Team Unilag, Funmi Otegbeye, also said that the athletes were going for the gold in all the categories as soon as the games gets underway.
“The athletes are good to go, given the number of training and efforts we have put in place, we have an advantage because our squad is made up of young talented individuals.
“Among the Team Unilag, we also have a national champion in the 110 hurdles, Oyeniyi Abejoye, he is a quality addition to the team as well.
“We also expect other athletes in various track and field events to go for nothing but the gold in their respective categories,” she said.
For the national record holder in 110 hurdles, Oyeniyi Abejoye, “it is gold or nothing as the games beckon”.
“I am presently running a Masters programme in Business Education at the University of Lagos and at the same time participating in the NUGA.
“Sure, I have an edge over other athletes being the national champion, but that does not mean that I have not been training well as well.
“For the 110 hurdles, it is a gold medal because I am also setting my eyes on other targets aside from the NUGA games,” he said.
Yewande Johnson, a 100m, 200m, and 4×100m athlete, also told NAN that the spirit in the camp was “high enough to sweep the medals table”.
“We are encouraged to do our best during the games and our spirit is high. Everyone has a target which is the gold medal.
“The game has suffered many postponements, and now, it’s time to show the world what we are made of, we really appreciate the support from the management and we expect more as well,” she said.
The Chief Coach of the Football team, Dare Semore, said that the male soccer team had prepared well ahead of the games.
“We have had a series of friendly games and we won most of our games including the one we played against a league playing side Maryland FC.
“We won the game by 2-0, while we have also won six out of our seven friendly matches. It is a plus for us as we expect to play against other teams
“Our football team is ready to defeat others and importantly we want to have a gold medal in the football event of the NUGA 2022,” he said.
NAN reports that team UniLag came fourth with nine gold medals at the 25th edition of the games hosted by the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
The University of Port Harcourt, which won the 2017 edition with 70 gold medals is the defending champion.
The Ahmadu Bello University came second with 11 gold, while Benson Idahosa University came third with 10 gold medals at the 25th edition of the games.
According to the organisers, about 10,000 student-athletes and officials from 136 universities across the country are expected to participate in 17 events during the competition.
The events for the 2022 NUGA are football; athletics; badminton; hockey; cricket; chess; judo; swimming; karate; squash; handball; taekwondo; tennis; table tennis; volleyball; basketball; and boxing.
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