Uche Eke, a U.S.-based Nigerian gymnast, on Wednesday in Abuja said he was optimistic about the country’s gymnasts winning gold medals for the country at the African Games in Morocco.
“I’m 100 percent ready to represent Nigeria in Morocco, after my first outing in South Africa, and I know we have great chances of winning medals for the country in Morocco in August,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Eke who advised the Nigeria Gymnastics Federation (NGF) to renovate the floor of the Abuja National Stadium gymnasium said he was ready to participate in three events at the Games.
“I’m glad that I have had opportunity to be trained in the U.S. So, I’m here (in Nigeria at the National Open Championship) to share my experience and my skills with every gymnast around.
“It has been my dream to represent Nigeria in gymnastics events for a very long time. Now, we have a great chance of winning medals for the country.
“But I discovered that from this competition that our athletes need to prepare more and improve more on their skills before the African Games,’’ he said.
Eke, a student of University of Michigan who lives in Florida, said he was ready to support fellow Nigerians in preparation for the Games.
“I have discovered that in Florida we have a lot of equipment, electricity, opportunities and potential. So, I came here to help gymnasts in the federation, to share my experience with Nigerian gymnasts.’’
Speaking also, his father, Daniel Eke, urged other Nigerians in diaspora to help in improving sports in the country.
“We have a lot of Nigerians in foreign lands doing well in sports. If they can come home to help athletes in each federation with their experience, we will get better.
“Our sports will be well developed and will be improved and we will be competing better at international events and we will be winning medals.
“My son was born in the U.S. and his mother is from there, but he has been dreaming of coming to Nigeria to represent the country in international competitions,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the 12th African Games will begin on Aug. 19 in Rabat, in Morocco.