The camp of the Nigeria wrestling team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games is bubbling with confidence ahead of the quadrennial multi-sport event which runs from 4th to 15th April in Gold Coast, Australia.
The wrestlers, who are expected to depart Nigeria for Australia on 2nd April, are currently in Yenagoa-the Bayelsa State capital-finalising preparations for the Games.
Head coach of the female team Purity Akuh said the wrestlers are in good shape and ready to make the country proud in Australia.
“Honestly, I really want to thank the Almighty God because the team is in good spirit, one love and very peaceful in camp” he said.
“And I must be very frank with you, everyday they keep impressing me, they keep listening to my instructions especially on the strategies we plan to use against the Indians and Canadians, who are our likely tough opponents (at the Games). So they are really responding to training; even when I want to take the training to like 50, 60 %, they will take it from me and take it to like 80, 90%.
“So I’m very optimistic that the female team will do very well at the Commonwealth Games.”
On her part, World Silver-medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) expressed her readiness for Gold Coast 2018, adding that she is looking forward to defending the gold medal she won at the last edition of the Games in Scotland given the level of preparation she’s had.
“We have been in camp for almost 2months now, and we have been preparing so very hard,” the multiple African champion said.
“We have been adding so many things to our wrestling, especially me-I have been given some attention by my coach, and I believe everything will be alright.”
In the 62kg weight class, Aminat Adeniyi is aiming to win another gold medal after achieving same feat in Scotland four years ago in the 58kg category.
The Ondo State-born fighter says she is ready for her title defence, but identified the Canadians and Indians as possible threat to her aspiration.
“By the grace of God, I’m very ready,” she sated.
“Our coach has really trained us hard; he has watched the video of our opponents, especially the Canadians and Indians.
“We have worked out a lot of things on the mat, and I’m ready.”
Meanwhile, captain of the male team Amas Daniel (65kg) also expressed his side’s readiness, stating that they are primed for a successful outing at the Games.
“I’m very much prepared physically and spiritually, and I also want to assure that the Commonwealth Games-bound team is ready,” the 6-time African Champion stated.
“Having one mind that we are all going to stand in the centre of the podium, I mean, we are very much prepared. Our mindsets are good despite some challenges we faced in the past, we’ve all zeroed our mind.
“We really need to work a little harder for the next week to make sure that we not only stand on the podium, but on the centre (gold-medalists position), and to fly Nigeria’s flag (in Australia).”
At the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland four years ago, wrestling accounted for 12 of the 36 medals won by Team Nigeria.