Nigerian Blind Judokas Set to Create History at Baku Grand Prix
In a groundbreaking development for Nigerian judo, two visually impaired athletes from Lagos are set to participate in the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Judo Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. This historic event is scheduled to take place at Baku’s National Gymnastics Arena from September 23 to 28, marking Nigeria’s inaugural appearance at the prestigious tournament.
The three-member Nigerian team, led by athletes Oladele Kekere and Grace Egbobi, will be under the guidance of coach Janet Omohodion. The athletes are currently in a rigorous training camp, preparing for the competition, and are slated to depart for Baku on September 22.
Chairman of the Lagos State Judo Association, Sheriff Hammed, expressed his excitement about this significant milestone in Nigerian judo. He commended the Lagos State Government for sponsoring the athletes’ participation in the IBSA Grand Prix, highlighting Lagos as the first Nigerian state to present athletes at this prestigious event.
Hammed underscored the significance of this opportunity for the athletes, who will make history as the first Nigerians to compete at the IBSA event. He believes that this experience will be invaluable for their future in the sport and hopes it will inspire other challenged athletes to aim high.
Hammed praised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his support and expressed his commitment to continue showcasing Lagos on the global stage in various sporting disciplines. Additionally, the Nigerian athletes will participate in a training camp at the Sumgayit Olympic Sports Complex in Baku from September 28 to October 4, further enhancing their skills and representing Nigeria on the international stage.
This remarkable achievement not only highlights the potential of Nigerian athletes with disabilities but also emphasizes the importance of providing equal opportunities for all athletes to excel in sports, regardless of physical challenges.