The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, has said the federation would ensure that more wrestlers aspire for podium finishes at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France. He also claimed that the federation had started grooming wrestlers to win as many gold medals as possible at the Africa Games in Ghana, which he noted were part of his cardinal objectives for the year 2024. Dr. Daniel Igali disclosed the 2024 plans of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation in an interview in Lagos.
“2024 is the year of the Olympics, but before that, we have the African Games in Ghana. "I am sure the athletes will use the African Games as a prep ground for the Olympics Qualifiers because two weeks after the African Games we have the Olympics Qualifiers in Alexandria, Egypt."
"We will be going to Paris with the hope of getting on the podium," said Igali, a wrestling’s Olympic Games gold medalist for Canada in his heyday.
“We are going to the Olympics with very high hopes of winning multiple medals. Over the years, Blessing Oborodudu and Odunayo Adekuoroye have been the biggest names, but you also need to be aware of Esther Kolawole, a young wrestler who will hopefully get to her maximum potential in the next couple of years."
“Mercy Genesis is a Commonwealth Games gold medalist and is in the top 10 in her weight class currently. Last year, she wrestled for the bronze medal at the World Championship but was unlucky to lose it. She’s within the grasp of a medal.
''We also have other young athletes that are coming up, but we have not been able to take them out for exposure due to a lack of sponsorships.”
Igali added that lack of funds has stalled the exposure of many wrestlers to international competitions, but he remained upbeat about a successful year. “Based on the level of funding, I would say we had an average year,” he remarked.
“We project to qualify between 4 and 8 wrestlers for the Olympics at the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifying event in Alexandria, Egypt, in the month of March 2024.
“The federation also has plans to maintain our positioning in Africa at the Africa games in Accra, Ghana."
“Finally, it’s our hope to place on the medals table at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”