The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has tasked seven-time Olympian, Funke Oshonaike to begin the grooming of new table tennis stars that will replace her in the country.
He said, “Funke’s defeat does not diminish her greatness as an international award-winning tennis player who has placed Nigeria on the global map of table tennis. Nigeria thanks Funke Oshonaike for her service in sports and is appreciative of her commitment to tennis development.
He also urged Oshonaike to help notch new ones who will take over from her and also help keep the country on the world map while also promising the government’s support.
“I urge to start to developing the next young generation of Nigerian tennis stars. The government will support her.
“Funke Oshinaike, seven-time Olympian was defeated in her first game playing against the American tennis player who is one of the best in the world.
In the same vein, Dare has hailed Nigeria’s first-ever gymnast in Olympics Uche Eke for his representing the country well despite his early exit from the Games.
Uche Eke failed on Saturday to advance to the All-Around final from subdivision 2 of the artistic gymnastics event at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old, who was making his Olympic Games debut, scored a total of 74.765 points to place 36th at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
Speaking to Uche Eke after the competition, Hon. Sunday Dare said “Nigeria’s first-ever at the Olympics you are a TrailBlazer and a champion. For having the heart of a man, you represent the best of our youth in Nigeria. I saw you compete and even the international coaches were impressed by your mastery and confidence.
“The sky waits for you. You may have lost at the Olympics but you have won our hearts,” added the Sunday Dare.