• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

2024 Paris Olympics: Super Falcons begin preparations as 14 players hit camp

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  1. Nine-time African champions, Nigeria’s Super Falcons have kicked off preparations for the women’s football tournament at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris as 14 players have reportedly arrived at the team camp in Jerez de la Frontera, near Sevilla.

According to a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), 12 Super Falcons players were at breakfast on Monday, with two more expected at the Hotel Barceló Montecastillo Golf and Resort by the afternoon.

“We started training on Sunday, and the camp is calm. The players are in very high spirits as they look forward to the tournament in France,” Oboduku said.

Leading the squad in camp are team captain Rasheedat Ajibade and first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie. Other players already in camp include goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Chidinma Okeke and Nicole Payne, midfielders Christy Ucheibe, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, and Jennifer Echegini, and forward Esther Okoronkwo. Alternate players, goalkeeper Morufa Ademola and forward Gift Monday are also present.
Defenders Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie were expected to join the team on Monday afternoon.

The nine-time African champions, who last competed in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, will face reigning Olympic champions Canada in a training match in Sevilla on Wednesday, July 17th.

Canada clinched the gold medal in Tokyo three years ago, defeating Sweden 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.

In their last Olympic outing, the Falcons lost 0-1 to Korea DPR, 0-1 to Germany, and 1-3 to eventual silver medalists Brazil.

Women’s football debuted at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1996, with the Super Falcons making their entry in 2000 in Australia. They lost 1-3 each to China, Norway, and eventual silver medalists USA. Perpetua Nkwocha scored against China, while Mercy Akide netted against Norway and the USA.

Nigeria’s best performance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament came 20 years ago in Athens, where the Super Falcons finished in 6th place after reaching the quarter-finals.