By Albert Akota and AmaechiAgbo
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Daniel Igali has heaped praises on the country’s wrestlers to the recently-concluded 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, saying he is ‘extremely satisfied’ with their performances.
The wrestlers won 8 medals (3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze) at the Games, accounting for over 30% of the overall medals (24) won by Team Nigeria in Gold Coast.
In a statement released by the NWF Media Officer, EmekaDenner yesterday in Port Harcourt commended the president who was newly-elected vice-president of the Commonwealth Wrestling Committee.
“Before we left, I said that everyone going had an opportunity to win a medal, and indeed at the competition, everyone did have a chance to win a medal. Four were unlucky not to win, but everybody gave a good account of themselves.
The Bayelsa State Lawmaker, however, disclosed that the achievements of the wrestlers in Gold Coast wouldn’t have been possible without adequate preparation and the support they enjoyed from the Rivers and Bayelsa States Governments.
“I think it was down to preparations. You know we had a very closed camp, really focused camp in Bayelsa for two months because we knew we had lots of challenges.
“We studied a lot of tapes; we mimicked the styles of our opponents. We went back to matches we lost against all the people we won against at this tournament, and really got prepared.
“But I must also tell you that the Governor Wike National Wrestling Classics that we had in November, and the African Championships in February, really prepared these athletes for this tournament.
“So I want to use this opportunity to thank Governor Wike for all the support he gave to us. In fact, I don’t think this victory will be complete without the wrestlers going to present these medals to him, because he was very instrumental. The two tournaments he hosted were very instrumental in these results.
“And I will also want to use this opportunity to thank the Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency Gov. Seriake Dickson for the enabling environment he provided for the team to camp in Bayelsa for about three months.
“For both the Wike National Wrestling Challenge and the African Championships, and the focus camp we had after those tournaments in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, I really want to thank these two very gallant Governors,” he said.
In a related development, the board of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has congratulated its president Hon. Daniel Igali on his recent election as one of the vice-presidents of the Commonwealth Wrestling Committee.
In a statement signed by the vice president of NWF Prince Fab Adelekan, the board described Igali’s appointment as “a testimony of the fact that your contributions, impact and service to wrestling in Nigeria is not only unequalled, but also felt at the Commonwealth and World stage.”
The board also passed a vote of confidence on the World and Olympic champion, and urged him to use his new office to take Nigerian wrestling in particular, and Commonwealth wrestling in general, to a higher level.