Following the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development’s first phase preparations to camp athletes and officials ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games, President of the Nigerian Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, has said his federation was up-to-date on athletes qualifying for the Olympics.
Igali, who spoke to The Guardian, yesterday, stated that the first step of the federation’s plan towards qualifying for the Olympics would begin with the National Sports Festival in Benin City early next month, adding that this and other events lined up would give the wrestlers enough impetus for the African championship in Algeria, and Olympics qualifiers in Morocco.
“We have the festival coming up in December between 5th and 17th and in January, we are going to have the Daniel Igali’s Champion of Champions Championship holding in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State. Thereafter, the wrestlers will be in camp for the African championship in February.
“In March, the wrestlers will be going to Morocco for the Olympics qualifiers. All the other eligible athletes will be going for the qualifiers, except Odunayo Adekuoroye, who had already qualified for the Olympics. She qualified after winning a bronze medal at last year’s Senior World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan,” he said.
He added: “Also in the championships lined up for the athletes, they will have the best training to wrestle well. Winning comes from wrestling well and from good preparation. Our job is to ensure that we prepare them optimally, so that they can go and wrestle without stress and do well for the country.”
It could be recalled that Igali pledged N10, 000 monthly each to top 10 wrestlers towards cushioning the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wrestlers, as part of his plans to motivate the athletes to prepare well for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Morocco next March.