Nigeria aims for multiple spots, as wrestlers leave for Algeria today
The National Coach of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Purity Akuh, has raised the bar on the number of wrestlers the federation intends to feature at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The President of the Federation, Daniel Igali, had last month promised that at least six Nigerian wrestlers would qualify for the Rio Olympics from next month’s qualifiers in Algeria.
Team Nigeria will be challenging for spots in five different weight categories in the Greco Roman, the male and female categories, which will hold between March 31 and April 4 in Algiers, Algeria. Odunayo Adekunoroye had since qualified courtesy of a bronze medal she won at last year’s Senior World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas, USA.
Speaking to The Guardian on Monday, Akuh said the increase in the number of wrestlers the federation hopes to qualify for the wrestling event at the Olympics emanates from the spirit of optimism in camp.
“I think it is quite possible to qualify all the wrestlers we have in camp with the training they have gone through. There has been motivation from the president of the federation and even the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong, was at the camp to pay the wrestlers a visit. Mr. Dalong’s visit has really motivated the athletes.
“I must confess to you that the wrestlers are in high spirit, they are in good shape, the focus is there and the readiness to go out and succeed is overwhelming. Everybody wants to qualify for Rio, but not just to qualify, but to also make an impact. I think they are ready,” he said.
He said all the wrestlers for the trials are expected to arrive on March 30, “and on March 31, the weights of all the competitors will be assessed. On the first day of the trials, the Greco Roman will hold, followed by the female wrestlers, and then the male wrestlers.”
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