By Joan Nnenna Iwuchukwu
Abuja (Precise Post) – Tokyo Olympics bound Elizabeth Anyanacho has been buoyed by a surprise visit paid by the Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, to her Olympic training camp.
The 22-year-old Elizabeth, who is the first Nigerian woman in 16 years to qualify for the Olympics in Taekwondo, is currently battling with six other national champions in a special Olympic fight camp set up to boost her preparations.
Other national champions present at the special Olympic training fight camp organised by Olympic medalist Chika Chukwumerije include African Champion, Uzoamaka Otuadinma, African bronze medalists Juliet Dennis alongside national athletes Helen Okoko, Judith Usifoh, Peter Itiku and Ifeoluwa Ajayi,
Mr Dare, who has been visiting Olympic athletes in various qualified sports, dropped in on the unsuspecting camp to observe the training and encourage the athletes.
Speaking to the athletes after the session, the youthful Minister expressed satisfaction at the high level of training observed and promised to support the preparations of Elizabeth towards the goal of a podium finish in Tokyo.
“I am happy with the intensity and level of training that I have seen here today. I want to assure Elizabeth that, despite the constraint of resources expressed in recent times, the sports ministry will extend all possible support to ensure she achieves her podium dream in Tokyo,” he said.
The Minister thanked the national champions that came for the special camp, urging them to present a formidable resistance to Elizabeth which will further aid her training.
He said, “I thank all the national champions here today. Your role is important. I want you to train hard and help Elizabeth prepare, so when she gets to Tokyo, she will be ready for her Olympic opponents.”
The Honourable Minister promised that support for all athletes will not end with the Tokyo Olympics.
“After the Olympics, sports and life will still go on. We will keep supporting all our athletes even after the Olympics is finished,” he assured.
Responding to the surprise visit and words of encouragement by Mr Dare, the first-timer Olympian Elizabeth Anyanacho thanked the Honourable Minister for the visit and presented souvenirs in appreciation.
“I thank the Honourable Minister for this surprise visit. It gives me a lot of confidence to know that the government and the people of Nigeria are behind my preparations. I will keep working hard with my technical crew to make a positive impact at the Tokyo Olympics,” she assured.
Elizabeth Anyanacho, who is the second ever Nigerian female to qualify in Taekwondo for the Olympics, will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics on 26th July, 2021 in the female -67kg category.