Igali satisfied with Team Nigeria’s – Wresting — outing at World Championships — Laments Poor Preparation
By Emeka Dennar
President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali says he is satisfied with the performance of Team Nigeria at the just-concluded Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
This is in spite of the inability of any of the wrestlers to win a medal at the event.
World silver medallist (in 2017) Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Commonwealth gold-medallists Blessing Oborududu (68kg) and Aminat Adeniyi (63kg), as well as Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg), who claimed a silver medal at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year, all faltered in Budapest.
They all failed to reproduce or even surpass their historic 2017 performances at the Championships in Paris.
“The outcome was disappointing, but when you look at the effort everybody put into it, and you look at the draws and the circumstances that led to our not coming back with any medal, for me, I am not disappointed at all,” Igali, Olympic champion said.
“In wrestling, things are not that clear cut, in terms of effort that everybody puts into it; they did what they could do. They were right there.
“Remember last year (at the World Championships), Russia that has a budget of about $18m per year for their wrestling team could not win a single medal in the freestyle events, but this year, they won 3 gold medals.’’
In an interview with NWF Media, the Bayelsa State Lawmaker explained that the team could have done better in Budapest if they had prepared adequately.
“I think if they had faced some competitions before the tournament, definitely, Odunayo (Adekuoroye) could not have lost.’’
“And if you do everything right, it only means you’ve put them at par with others. It doesn’t mean you have done anything extraordinary for your people.
“So what we need to do is to prepare to our optimum and hope that next time, we are not going to look at draws anymore because if we are going to win tournaments, we have to beat everybody,” Igali added.
Team Nigeria won medals at the last two World Championships, with Adekuoroye winning bronze in 2015 in Las Vegas and silver in 2017 in Paris, becoming the first Nigerian to achieve that feat. ##