It was an atmosphere of celebration and carnival as Stakeholders of wrestling in conjunction with the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) hosted the country’s Tokyo 2020 wrestlers and coaches in a glamourous reception in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Saturday.
Blessing Oborududu, who became Nigeria’s first-ever wrestling medallist at the Olympics, after claiming a silver medal in the 68kg in Tokyo a few weeks ago, alongside Commonwealth champions Oduanyo Adekuoroye and Aminat Adeniyi (both unavoidably absent), Adijat Idris, Ekerekeme Agiomor, as well as coaches Purity Akuh and Victor Kodei were presented with plaques and cash prizes for their historic outing at the global multi-sport showpiece.
NWF boss Daniel Igali was also handed a plaque for his outstanding leadership, which has totally transformed wrestling in Nigeria.
The guests and dignitaries inside the Dynamite Recreation center – venue of the reception – were entertained by the Bayelsa State cultural troupe, local Ogele dance, good music and some comedy.
In his remarks, Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, who also chaired the occasion, Hon. Kia Nigeria, on behalf of his Council, donated N1m to Oborududu, who hails from Southern Ijaw, adding that he is willing to support any indigene of the area who excels in sports.
“I equally appreciate the Nigeria Wrestling Federation because we have thought it wise that we are going to also host her (Oborududu) as our daughter,” he said.
“But because the Honoorable Commissioner for Sports (Daniel Igali) is my friend and he informed me of this ceremony, so, I have to key into it. And that’s the reason why I’m here to come and celebrate her.
“You heard what I offered on behalf of the Council in celebrating her, encouraging her, encouraging every other person that is into this business of wrestling and any other sports.
“Southern Ijaw Local Government is strong enough to support any athlete that would come from any of the sporting fields.”
On her part, Olympic silver medallist Oborududu, who was full of joy, thanked Hon. Kia Nigeria for his kind gesture, while attributing her success to the impact of the NWF boss Daniel Igali on her career.
“I feel so honoured, and I want to say a big thank you to the President (Daniel Igali),” the 10-time African champion said.
“Wrestling is No.1 in Nigeria because of him. We are celebrating Olympic silver medal because of him. So, I want to say a big thank to him, and also to the chairman of the occasion Hon. Kia (Nigeria).
“For being part of this occasion, I want to say a big thank you to everyone that contributed to the success of this occasion. Thank you everyone and God Bless you.”