By Raphael Ekpang
Team Nigeria clinched second position in the overall medals table at the just concluded 1st Confederation of Africa Canoe Sprint & Para Canoe Qualifiers for 2024 Paris Olympic Games in Abuja.
The final medal table released on Monday, saw Nigeria pushed Tunisia to the third position having won nine medals, comprising four gold, four silver and one bronze.
South Africa finished first on the medal table with a total of eight gold medals and one bronze. Tunisia came third with a total of 15 medals – three gold, give silver and seven bronze medals.
Senegal occupied fourth position with five medals comprising three gold, one silver and one bronze.
Algeria, Angola and Mozambique won two gold each to finish 5th, 6th and 7th on the medal standing respectively. Egypt and Morocco won one gold each, while Sao Tome & Principe and Ghana also registered their name on the medal table with one bronze medal each.
Interestingly, Team Nigeria also clinched three tickets out of the total eight slots to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games available at the championship, leaving five other for other participating 15 countries to share.
Nigerian duo of Ayomide Bello Powei and Otuedo Beauty combined well to pick up automatic qualification ticket to the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris for Canoeing event in the C2 W 500 category.
The Nigerian pair who paddled in lane three, finished tops ahead of their counterparts from Mozambique, Egypt & Senegal, to clinch the automatic ticket in the all African qualifiers.
Ayomide Bello, born to canoe, also sealed two automatic qualification tickets for Team Nigeria in C1 W500 and C1 W200 events. Therefore, the 20-year-old canoeist star would be representing Nigeria in three events – C1 W200, C1 W500 and C2 W500 events respectively at the Paris Olympics.
Ayomide Bello would be making a return to the Olympics in Paris having made her debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Japan as Nigeria’s first-ever female Olympic canoeist.