By Johnny Edward: President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, is optimistic that Team Nigeria will excel at the forth-coming 2018 African Wrestling Championships in Port Harcourt, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
No fewer than 90 (Cadet, Junior and Senior) wrestlers are expected to represent Nigeria at the tournament billed to hold at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre in Port Harcourt, from the 7th to 11th February, 2018.
Nigeria are hosting the African Wrestling Championships for the first time in the history of the competition and Team Nigeria has been preparing in three separate camps; in Akure, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa ahead of the Championships.
“We are marginally prepared because we know what is at stake and we are ready to do the country proud next month,” Igali who won gold medal representing Canada in the men’s freestyle wrestling event at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 told Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) .
“From all the reports and personal experiences, we are good to go.”
At the last African Championships in Marakech, Morocco, in 2017, Nigeria emerged the best female side, winning nine of the available ten gold medals. And Igali is looking forward to such dominance from the female team.
“I hope they (female team) do well, that’s my prayer for them and that’s why our preparation is key.
“I don’t believe on luck. So I’m hoping that with the amount of preparations we’ve been having here, they will be able to replicate their performances in Marakech.
“I think we need to continue with what we are doing.
“This week, I think will be a very critical week because we need to start looking at putting finishing touches ahead of the tournament.
“When you are training at this level, the second week to a tournament is a critical week because you need to tie things up. The last week is normally not as serious anymore-it’s a taper week.
“If we continue with this trend, we should do well, but putting up a 100% performance is all we need from them.
“What I’ve always told our athletes is ‘if you give 100% effort in your endeavours on the mat, the results will come.”