Thirty-five cyclists have been selected to represent the country in the second edition of the Africa Cup Track Cycling Championship scheduled from July 14 to 17 in Abuja.
In a statement, Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) technical director, Bashir Mohammed, said the cyclists who camped in Abuja were selected from the elite and junior teams.
“They have been undergoing intensive training for over four months at the velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium,” Mohammed told NAN.
He added that the cyclists would participate in several events at the championship. The Nigerian team will compete in events in both the junior and elite levels in the male and female categories. The 35 cyclists will be divided into 17 for the juniors and 18 for the elite.
The 17 cyclists in the juniors category comprise 11 males and six females, while the 18 cyclists in the elite category have ten males and eight females. He continued: “We are set for the championship, and it is good that it is taking place in our country where we will compete in all the 11 medal events.”
Mohammed also disclosed that cyclists from 20 countries, including Nigeria, were expected to participate in the competition. He listed the countries to be South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Republic of Benin, Guinea, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Algeria, Togo, Rwanda and Tunisia.
The federation conducted a national trial from June 8 to June 12, where 139 cyclists participated, and 52 cyclists were picked for closed camping. Nigeria hosted the championship’s first edition in July 2019 in Abuja, and nine countries participated.
With a contingent of 21 cyclists of both female and male categories, Nigeria won a total of 51 medals comprising 21 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronzes to emerge champions. Egypt finished second with eight gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals, while Morocco was third with four gold and three silver medals.
Burkina finished fourth with three silvers and five bronze, Burundi fifth with two bronzes, and Ghana sixth with a bronze medal.