The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, unveiled athletes that would represent the country at the forthcoming Senior World Wrestling Championships in Paris, France.
The eight-man team which has been camping for just two weeks is made up of 4 female and two male wrestlers who excelled at the African Championships in Morocco earlier this year, as well as two coaches.
The female wrestlers are world number one in the 55kg class; Odunayo Adekuoroye, 7-time African champion; Blessing Oborodudu (63kg), Commonwealth champion; cc (58kg) and All Africa Games gold medallist; Mercy Genesis (48kg).
Multiple African champion Amas Daniel (65kg) and newly-crowned African king, Emmanuel John (70kg) are the two male wrestlers in the contingent.
The six wrestlers will be tutored by experienced coaches; Victor Kodei and Purity Akuh.
Speaking exclusively to www.busybuddiesng.com at the event, President of the Federation Daniel Igali admitted that the athletes did not get the best of preparations but however, remains optimistic that they would give a good account of themselves in Paris.
“They (the athletes) are marginally prepared,” said the Olympic champion. “I mean, it is not under the most ideal circumstances.”
“If you ask me, for a World Championships, we should have gone to about three, four training camps outside the country; competed in different places; each person this year should have had about 35,40 matches before now.”
“So I wouldn’t say we had the best preparations but for what we have and what we are able to put together, I think it’s satisfactory to me. And based on the morale of the athletes and what I have seen of their training, I think they should give a good account of themselves,” Igali said.
Meanwhile, wrestling sensation Adekuoroye, who was recently elevated to the summit of the rankings in her weight category (55kg), says her new position will inspire her to achieve more success.
The Commonwealth Champion who won a bronze medal at the last world championships in Las Vegas in 2015, added that her latest ranking will not put her under any pressure to perform in Paris.
“I’m so very glad and it gives me confidence that God answers prayers.”
“It gives me confidence that I can still do more; not just ranking but to bring that medal; to bring that belt. So I have confidence that there’s nothing; absolutely nothing that God cannot do.”
“I don’t have any pressure. My President (Daniel Igali) has told me ‘go out and wrestle the way you wrestle at home. I didn’t ask you to go and put pressure on yourself’ and I believe if I wrestle the way I wrestle at home, I will win. I don’t have any pressure,” the 5-time African Champion stated.”
The 2017 Senior World Wrestling Championships is slated for August 20-26 in Paris, France.
Team Nigeria are expected to depart the country on Friday.
Nigeria has never won gold at the World Championships.