The Nigerian Army says it has returned to sporting glory as its personnel have recently been participating and winning laurels at both local and international events.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Iliyasu said that Nigerian Army athletes had taken part in at least three different local and international sporting tournaments and won excellent laurels in the past one week.
According to him, it could be recalled that in the 70s and 80s, Nigerian Army athletes were shining lights in virtually all local, African and international sporting events.
“A Nigerian Army female athlete, Lance Cpl. Hannah Reuben, was among the athletes that represented Nigeria at the just concluded African Wrestling Championships in Algiers, Algeria from Feb. 4 to Feb. 8.
“Reuben, who was sponsored to the Championships by both the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and the Nigerian Wrestling Federation, was visibly dominant in the 65kg category.
“She overpowered home girl Amel Hammiche 12-1 via superiority in the final match to reclaim her African title.
“Reuben and other medalists in the team were billed to represent Nigeria in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with high optimism for a medal,” he said.
Iliyasu also said that Nigerian Army Team also emerged overall first position with 10 Gold, five Silver and six Bronze medals in the just concluded 2nd Rivers National Open Karate and Kick Boxing Championship held from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 in Port Harcourt.
Iliyasu further disclosed that a team of Nigerian Army athletes comprising 12 male and six female soldiers participated in the just concluded 5th Annual Lagos City Marathon held on Saturday in Lagos.
He added that the Army athletes competed among Africa’s and the world’s best in both the 42-kilometer Marathon and 10-kilometer races with high spirit and enthusiasm.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, flagged off the historic event at the National Stadium, Surulere Lagos with over 50,000 athletes drawn from across the world to compete in the two categories vying for glory.
“Nigerian Army team clinched nine individual cash prizes in the 42 and 10 kilometer male and female categories.
“It is heart-warming to note that, in the Male category of the 42 kilometer Marathon, Private Solomon Dauda and Lance Cpl. Raymond Nanribel won the 7th and 10th positions respectively.
“Also, in the male category of the 10 kilometer race, Pte. Ibrahim Mubarak, Lance Cpl. Nuhu Mohammed and Cpl. Sunday Gontori clinched the 5th, 6th and 9th positions respectively.
“In the female category of the 10 kilometer race, Pte. Adewale Hannah, Lance Cpl. Naomi Yunana, Pte. Veronica Dechi and Pte. Ebenezer Joy put up a superlative performance.
“They earned the 6th, 8th, 12th and 16th positions respectively to boost the pride of the Nigerian Army,” he said.
In his address to the victorious teams, the Chief of Army Staff congratulated the athletes for their brilliant performance, adding that it has brought pride and honour to the Nigerian Army.
Buratai further pledged more support to sporting activities in the Nigerian Army in line with his vision which is to have a Professionally Responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of it’s Constitutional Roles.