Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Hon. Daniel Igali is hopeful Team Nigeria wrestlers will get the right kind of preparations that ‘would get them over the hurdle’ at the Tokyo 2020 Games in Japan, as the athletes commenced camping for the global multi-sport fiesta.
Five wrestlers, including Commonwealth champions Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Aminat Adeniyi (62kg) and Blessing Oborodudu (68kg), on Tuesday began camping for the Summer Games in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The trio are joined by youngster Adidjat Idris (50kg) and Ekerekeme Agiomor (86kg), who would be making their Olympic debuts in Japan.
While in Yenagoa, the Tokyo-bound wrestlers will be perfecting strategies under the watch of coaches Purity Akuh, Victor Kodei and Happiness Burutu in a bid to win Nigeria’s first wrestling medals at the Olympics.
In addition to staging a ‘test competition’ for the athletes in Yenagoa, Igali also disclosed that the wrestlers are billed to participate in a Ranking Series tournament in Poland (in June) as part of their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“This is the preparation we hope would get them over the hurdle at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” Igali, who won Olympic gold for Canada at the Sydney Games in 2000, said.
“They would be here (Yenagoa) right up until early August, when they leave for another preparatory camp in Tokyo.
“Our plan is to, for the next couple of weeks, get them efficiently prepared to go to a Ranking Series competition in Poland. We also plan to have a competition here in Bayelsa – a test competition for them.
“We have about three training partners to each athlete because we want to mimic a situation where they have different kinds of opponents, so that all five qualified athletes are given the necessary preparations.”
The delayed-Tokyo Games will take place from 23 July to 7 August, with wrestling running from 1 – 7 August.