Nigerian canoeist, Jonathan Akinyemi, has arrived in Rio, Brazil, ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which begins in the Brazilian City of Rio on August 5.
Akinyemi, who will represent Nigeria at the Olympics for the second successive time in the canoe/slalom kayak event, arrived in Brazil on Tuesday, ahead of the other members of Team Nigeria, and was received at the Games Village by officials of Team Nigeria.
“He immediately got down to work and has not slowed down since he hit Rio,” an excited official of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) said.
Born in England, Jonathan Akinyemi is the first Nigerian to compete in the canoeing event of the Olympic Games.
He qualified as Nigeria’s only canoeist to Rio 2016 in the men’s K-1 class by obtaining a top finish at the 2015 African Canoe Slalom Championships in Sagana, Kenya, which makes him a medal hopeful at the Rio Games.
Meanwhile, Team Nigeria captain to the Rio Olympics, John Mikel Obi, has denied that he gave $30,000 to his teammates in the U-23 team currently camping in Atlanta, USA.
Speaking from the team’s camp at the Hyatt Place, the Super Eagles captain was furious: “I was first told of this unfortunate story by a friend, who called me from Nigeria. I thought he was joking until he sent me the link.
“I don’t know the source of this story which to me is all out to divide us as a team. I would have thought that stories that should be coming out in the media are stories that will unite the team instead of dividing us. Our target in Rio is to excel, but if they continue like this, then I wonder how we can be united.”
Mikel added: “Tell me the players in this team that are so hungry that will be looking up to me for survival? Is it (William) Ekong, (Oghenekaro) Etebo, (Shehu) Abdulahi, (Daniel) Akpeyi, (Kingsley) Madu, (Okechukwu) Azubuike or (Stanley) Amuzie, who are my team –mates in the Super Eagles, that I will be donating to, or other players who are plying their trade abroad and are doing well for themselves? To me, this is just mere distraction that won’t help this team going into a major tournament like the Olympics.”
The Chelsea star appealed to Nigerians to rally round the team and wish the players and officials well as they get ready for the men’s football tournament of the Rio Olympics.