President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Daniel Igali has unequivocally declared that Nigeria is not ready for the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018 in Australia, given the standard of preparation for her athletes ahead of the showpiece event.
The NWF boss made this declaration while speaking on a recent Television programme monitored in Lagos.
This follows the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ decision to call Team Nigeria’s athletes to camp in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, in preparation for the quadrennial multi-sport event scheduled to run from 4th to 15th April, 2018.
Rather than a domestic camping for the team, the Olympic Champion believes taking the athletes abroad would put them in a better competitive mode ahead of the 21st edition of the Games.
“What our preoccupation is here (Nigeria): we want to go into a local camp so that we can go get some fitness,” the Bayelsa State Lawmaker stated.
“Let me tell you, in the past 3 years, no Nigerian has even scored a point on (Odunayo) Adekuoroye, no Nigerian has scored a point on Blessing Oborodudu. The camp does nothing. In Nigeria, a camp is just a fitness test for Aminat (Adeniyi). And these are the things we keep telling them.
“If you want to prepare; we know how to do it. I am a High Performance expert, and I know how to get these athletes ready for major competitions. It is not to go and be in an enclosed camp in Nigeria for two months and go to the Commonwealth Games. It will do nothing.
“They will be fit to wrestle for 6 minutes, but what if the match ends in one minute; because that’s what is happening to us now?
“We are not ready for the Commonwealth Games. And I’m not just talking wrestling, I’m talking virtually every sport and that is a cause for worry,” the Commonwealth Games gold-medalist lamented.
It will be recalled that wrestling accounted for 12 of the 36 medals Team Nigeria won at the last edition of the Games in Glasgow in 2014, helping the country to finish 8th on the medal table.