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Team Nigeria eager for action as Sambo debut at 13th African Games


Even before the kick-off of the Sambo as one of the seven demonstration sports at the 13th African Games, Nigeria’s quartet heading to Accra believe they are aiming for the podium finish at the multi-sports championships.
The quartet made up of two men and two women said they are ready to rumble in the ring when the event kicks off on March 18.
The athletes – Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Nigeria is expected to compete with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic (CAR)Cameroon, Congo DR, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Niger Republic, Togo and host – Ghana.
For Kajido, nothing can stop him from clinching the gold medal. “My expectation in Ghana is nothing but just the gold. In terms of the challenges, I have no doubt in the management of Sambo Association of Nigeria (SAN) as well as the technical director and also the coaches which has contributed a lot to me and the rest of the team to meet up with the challenge in Ghana. I am positive that we will bring back the gold medals in all our events,” he said.
Like Kajido, Ogbonyomi believes she is prime for the top in Ghana. “I want to see myself on the podium hanging my gold medal round my neck; making my country and the team. Also, one of my expectations is to display my God-giving skills and talents in the competition for the world to see,” she said.
For the President of SAN, Loveth Howell, the contingent is poised to make the country proud. “Our athletes are ready, and they are all prepared to make the country proud and we are going to give them the necessary support to excel in Accra. This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception.”
Howell, who is also the Nigeria President of International Association of Combative Sports (IACS), said participating in the games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world. “We are hoping that taking part in the games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are not embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” she added.

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