Babatunde Fatai-Williams, the President of Aquatic Federation of Nigeria, says Nigeria’s failure to feature in swimming at the 2018 Commonwealth Games was because of its not being ready for such challenge.
Fatai-Williams told the newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that Nigerian swimmers were not well prepared to compete at such international event.
“Apart from paucity of funds, we are not participating at the 2018 Commonwealth Games because our athletes have not been prepared to be able to compete and win medals at such an international tournament.
“The Commonwealth Games feature many swimmers who are world-class. Picking a medal alongside such athletes requires adequate preparation.
“However, it would have been really good if some of our swimmers are given the opportunity to observe the 2018 edition of the Games in preparation for subsequent international events,” he said.
The federation president nonetheless said they were already preparing their athletes to be more competitive and be in line for medals at future international events.
“Development of any sport is done through the states and in the swimming sport we are now toeing that development line.
“We are working closely with the state swimming associations to discover and develop new talents and potential athletes who can win medals.
“We will also endeavour to have grassroots and national competitions, through which we will also focus more on ensuring that athletes acquire modern skills to help them compete at international events,” he said.
Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports had, through the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), picked 10 sports for Team Nigeria to feature in at the Games.
The sports are weightlifting, wrestling, gymnastics, athletics, boxing, basketball, table tennis, para-athletics, para-powerlifting and para-table tennis.
The Gold Coast 2018 Games are scheduled for April 4 to April 15.