Porbeni Assures Of Medal At Olympics


By A’isha Bello

Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (rtd), president of Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation (NRCSF) has assured Nigerians of podium finish for his athletes when the Olympic Games get underway later in the year in Paris, France capital.

The Bayelsa-born sports administrator told www.gongnews.net that the athletes are enjoying a lot of support from the Federation. He said the rowing and canoeing competition hosted by Nigeria in Abuja last year has exposed the athletes to different techniques in the sports saying Nigeria will be ready to host the competition again as part of efforts to develop the athletes. While assuring that Nigeria will pick medals at the Olympics, he however added that what he wouldn’t know is the colour of the medal.

“I’m sure of podium finish (at the Olympics) but the colour is what I don’t know. My athletes are getting a lot of support from the Federation. The minister was surprised at their performance during the event.

“Egypt gave us a hell. They didn’t want us to host it (the sailing and rowing tournament). But of course, I’m a tactician. I was able to get them out of the way. To have 15 African countries in Nigeria for Olympic qualification was very good.”

He stated that efforts are on to acquire boats for the use of the athletes adding that he is already discussing with the minister of Sports in that direction.

“My International body gave me some boats for Olympic qualification and they want their boats back. I can’t get money to pay and the letters are on the table of the minister to pay.”

“When I took over this Federation, there was no boat. They only do things on theory. But now, we not only have boats, we manufacture boats. The boats we used for the qualification recently were 26. We are already discussing on how to buy them for the country. So the Olympics boats are there. They (athletes) only need to get used to it. They don’t need any training tour.”

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