By G9ija

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has wished the Nigerian Athletes participating in the Birmingham 2022 Common Wealth Games success, urging them to make Nigeria proud.

She extended her good wishes to the team on Thursday during a farewell reception hosted by the High Commission in Abuja.

Laing advised the team to focus on their strength and not forget the sacrifices they had made, commending the Nigerian Government for the level of preparedness of the team.

Briefing journalists at the reception Laing said: “When I say Team Nigeria, I am definitely sure that they will do very well.

“Minister of Sport was telling me that on 12 sports, where Nigeria feels confident, and I think that it is a good strategy, focus on your strength and what the UK adopted, train your athletes very well.

“It is a very complex process preparing for the games.

“You think about nutrition and optimal level of training.

“I think that Team Nigeria is in really good shape and I think also that they enjoy the game and enjoy Birmingham, where the game is.

“Nigeria is in good shape and it is great seeing a lot of the female athletes because the Birmingham games is going to be very unusual, there are more medals for females than for male this year.

“I understand that Nigeria also has a very strong Paralympic team.

“So I am gunning for your women and I am gunning for your Paralympic team and I am also sure that Nigeria will come home with some medals.

“But not against the British team, Nigeria can get Silver.”

Laing said the UK Government looks forward to celebrating the commonwealth through sport which aims at bringing commonwealth countries together.

Youths and Sport Minister, Sunday Dare, said Team Nigeria was fully prepared for the Commonwealth Games and gunning to return with golds.

Dare said Team Nigerian had undergone series of trainings to improve their skills and the government had also made adequate preparations to ensure their output and comfort.

He said: “Team Nigeria is fit and prepared.

“In the last several weeks, we have seen Team Nigeria participate in several competitions.

“Of course we had the national trials, we had the championship in Mauritius, they are now in Oregon, back to back and then to the Commonwealth.

“When you have competitions like that, it sharpens the skills of the athletes.

“It also improves their preparedness and precision.

“So Team Nigeria is fit, Team Nigeria is ready and the spirit of the Commonwealth is in them and I am sure that they will do Nigeria nice when they get to Birmingham.”

Adijat Olanreoye, a female weightlifter in the 55kg category, said they were optimistic of winning the best positions across all categories

Olanreoye said: “We are prepared.

“We are honoured to be here today and we are honoured to be the athletes representing the country at the Commonwealth Games.

“And we know we will do our best and we will come home with the best positions and the best of the medals.

“We are prepared, we have been training and we are prepared for the competition.”

Benson Adeyinka, a Boxer, also assured Nigerians of coming home with the gold.

Adeyinka said: “Our hopes are high and we are hoping for the gold.

“We believe in our works and trainings.

“We really put a lot into work and we are 100 per cent and fully loaded.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, United Kingdom with 19 sports to feature in 11 days.

Seventy-two teams are expected to take part in the competition from Commonwealth nations and oversees territories, with 6,500 athletes and officials are also expected to attend.