President of the Nigeria Judo Federation Prince Timothy Nsirim has bemoaned the state of sports in the country.
Nsirim noted that the sports system in Nigeria was nothing to write home about as football was prioritised above other sports in the country.
“Federal government, state government, local governments are doing budgets for sports – only football. Why? Why? Our hands are tight,” he mourned in a chat with BusybuddiesNG.com.
Nigeria will likely not be parading any Judoka at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics according to Prince Nsirim who explained that a lack of sufficient preparation coupled with inadequate financing might eventually cost the team a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“(Lack of adequate) preparation, no financing, no nothing. I will not tell our story. Our story is pathetic. Not only Judo – Nigeria’s entire sports family are in trouble. The system is not working.
So we need assistance. If we do not go to the Olympics this year we will prepare ourselves (for the next one).” Prince explained.
Nigeria’s most prospective Judo athlete in Enku Ewa Ekuta grabbed 120 points at the Yaounde and Dakar Africa Opens in 2019 where she won silver and bronze respectively.
Ranked 113, she will need to grab more points if she must automatically qualify for the Olympics.
The African Senior Judo Championship was meant to take place in April at Morocco and Casablanca. However, the coronavirus pandemic has led to the postponement of the competition. Enku’s chances of winning gold at the championship are high considering the 21-year-old is currently one of Africa’s best judoka in the -63kg category.
According to be International Judo Federation (IJF), the World Ranking List of 25 May 2020 will be used to allocate the 352 qualification places in the hierarchical order of qualification.
The direct means of qualifying for each of the seven weight categories for the Men and Women will see the 18 highest ranked athletes on the Men and Women IJF World Ranking List as at 25 May 2020 respectively qualify with a maximum of one (1) athlete per NOC in each weight category.
Meanwhile an additional of 100 athletes will be directly qualified as per the IJF World Ranking List of 25 May 2020 based on continental representation.