Lauretta Onye, a gold and two silver medallist at the just-concluded 2019 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia, on Sunday expressed gratitude to the authorities for living up to expectation.
Onye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the trip was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under the leadership of Chikwendu Amobi, President, Para Athletics Federation of Nigeria (PAFN).
NAN reports that four athletes who participated in the championship clinched 10 medals and finished 5th position in the International Paralympics Committee (IPC)-organised tournament held from June 28 to July 1.
The Championship which featured 40 countries was part of the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“On behalf of members of my team, I want to really thank the Sports Ministry and our wonderful president, Amobi, for doing what is required of them.
“At least our efforts and their support have made it possible for us to win 10 medals in the championship which featured 40 countries and world champions in their classes.
“My greatest joy today is that we proudly represented Nigeria and brought honour which as far as I am concerned is worth the commitment made by the government,’’ she said.
The 2016 Paralympian, who won a gold in javelin and two silver medals in the F-40 shot put with a throw of 8.15 metres and Discuss events, said there was two more qualifiers to go.
Onye said, that their participation in the remaining IPC- organised world championships holding in France in August and Dubai in November, were fundamental and would determine their position in the games.
“Thank God for a successful outing but the journey continues; being the reason we need sustainable support from the government to enable us complete the world championships toward Tokyo 2020.
“I am very sure that once we are able to participate in these world championships qualifiers, we are good to go because we’ve got what it takes to sweep medals,’’ she said.
Onye promised to deliver more medals in the remaining qualifiers to book her place in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
She also pledged to increase her training tempo so as to be in top shape. (NAN)