27 July 2016
With barely seven days to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, one of Nigeria’s representatives in the rowing event, U.S.-based Chierika Ukogu, says she is ready to excel.
Ukogu, who will compete in the female category, said on Wednesday that the sport had been challenging, but that she would perform creditably.
The athlete, who will be representing Nigeria for the first time, said that her training with athletes in the U.S. team had helped to sharpen her skills.
“My preparation is going on well in spite of difficulties I have gone through preparing for this great event.
“I have access to training facilities in the U.S. and I am also opportune to practice with the U.S. team.
“With all these, I am hopeful and will continue to do the needful to have a good outing in Rio,’’ she wrote in an e-mail.
Ukogu said that sourcing for funds was one of the major challenges in preparing for the Games.
She noted that the International Rowing Federation supported her preparation for the Rio Olympics.
“Funding my training was really challenging, I had to use `GoFundMe’ to raise money for some of my expenses.
“I also got support from the Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation, but it was not enough,’’ she wrote.
The Games will hold from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21.
Jonathan Akinyemi was the first Nigerian canoeist to represent the country at the Olympics in London in 2012 and will also feature in Rio for Nigeria.