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NWF targets multiple podium finish at Paris 2024 Olympics

Posted : 27 March 2024

The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, has assured Nigerians of multiple medals at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.

Recall that five Nigerian wrestlers qualified at the just-concluded Oceania-Africa Olympic qualifiers in Egypt.

In an exclusive interview in Abuja, Igali said that the federation went to the championship with the target of qualifying wrestlers for the Olympics.

According to him, the federation achieved its target in Egypt.

He added that the wrestlers will start immediate preparation ahead of the Olympic Games.

"We’ve qualified five athletes so far in Egypt and now have six in total. We’re going to start their preparations. We have given them a week to rest.

"I am happy for these athletes because we have achieved our target, the athletes were determined in their competitions.

"The joy now is to see how we can get ourselves prepared for the long journey to the Olympics proper," he said.

He said the athletes will be training and camping for the Olympics in Nigeria.

"We have specific preparations for them. One of them is doing a degree program in the U.S., she will be there for about six weeks before she comes to join.

"We always prepare in Nigeria; we believe in homegrown talents. The wrestling federation, every athlete has been homegrown.

"You see the results; which means we can do it here. So our preparations will be largely in Nigeria.

"We will compete about twice before the Olympics and maybe have camps for about 10 days or two weeks at a time before the Olympics," he said.

Igali said the federation had a fantastic outcome from the African Games in Ghana to the African championships and the Oceania-Africa Olympic qualifiers.

"We are doing well for the nation, and that is why you do not see any athletes in the wrestling federation complain even though you may not get all you want.

"We make them happy. We have a federation that speaks with one voice. We have athletes that are a hundred percent committed," he said.

He said: "We have the support of the Federal Ministry of Sports Development; they have been doing their best for us."

Igali also commended the governor of Bayelsa, Sen. Douye Diri, for supporting the team.

"The governor has been giving the necessary support to the team since the beginning of the camp.

He added that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, who is a board member of the federation, had been very supportive of all their events locally and internationally.

The Nigeria wrestling team won nine medals comprising six gold, two silver, and one bronze in Egypt.

Six wrestlers from Nigeria have qualified to represent the country at the Paris Olympics.

They are Hannah Reuben (76kg), Oborodudu Blessing (68kg), Esther Kolawole (62kg), Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Christiana Ogunsanya (53kg), and Ashton Mutuwa (125kg).

Two of the qualified wrestlers – Odunayo Adekuoroye and Ashton Mutuwa – will be training in the U.S. ahead of the Olympics.

The 2024 Summer Olympics is an upcoming international and multipurpose event scheduled to take place from July 26 to Aug. 11 in France.


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