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Nigeria’s Super Falcons Begins Training for Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Tournament

Super Falcons have begun preparations for their first women’s Olympic football tournament in 16 years.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons have started preparing for their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years, with most of the invited players arriving at their camp in Jerez de la Frontera, near Sevilla.

Team Administrator Mary Oboduku reported that 12 players attended breakfast on Monday, and two more players were expected at the Hotel Barceló Montecastillo Golf and Resort by the afternoon.

“We began training on Sunday, and the camp is peaceful. The players are in high spirits as they anticipate the tournament in France,” Oboduku said.

Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade and first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie is already in camp, joined by goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Chidinma Okeke and Nicole Payne, midfielders Christy Ucheibe, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, 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 arrive at the team’s hotel 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, 17th July.

Canada’s team secured the gold medal in Tokyo three years ago by defeating Sweden 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.

In their last Women’s Olympic Football Tournament appearance, the Falcons were defeated 0-1 by Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 by Germany, and 1-3 by eventual silver medallists Brazil.

Women’s football was introduced at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1996. The Super Falcons made their debut in 2000 in Australia, losing 1-3 to China, eventual winners Norway, and silver medallists USA. Perpetua Nkwocha scored against China, while Mercy Akide scored against Norway and USA.

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

Nancy Mbamalu 

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