Nigeria’s contingent to the 2018 Cadet World Wrestling Championships will depart Lagos on Monday, 2nd July, for Zagreb, Croatia – venue of the competition.
According to Emeka Dennar, Media Officer of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), the Nigerian contingent which is made up of two female wrestlers and a coach, are scheduled to leave the Murtala Mohammed International Airport by 8:45pm (local time) aboard a Turkish airline.
They are expected to arrive Zagred on Tuesday for the competition which will run from 2nd to 8thJuly.
Reigning African champions, Sunmisola Balogun (65kg) and Esther Kolawole (61kg), who both won gold at the 2018 African Championships in Port Harcourt, are the two wrestlers that will represent Nigeria at the event designed for athletes between the ages of 15 and 17.
They will be guided by experienced head coach of the female national team, Purity Akuh.
Balogun will open her campaign on Wednesday, 4th July after undergoing a compulsory medical test and weigh-in same day, while impressive Kolawole will begin her quest for glory on Thursday, 5th July.
It is the first time Nigeria will be participating in the Cadet World Championships since its inception in 1975.
Speaking on the chances of both Balogun and Kolawole, Coach Akuh informed that they are well prepared, expressing confidence in their chances of excelling in Croatia.
“After the African Championships (in February), we started preparations,” he said. “We have been working on how our athletes can perform better at world level.”
He also highlighted some of the benefits of the competition for the youngsters.
“I think it’s a very good opportunity for these two athletes in terms of exposure and in terms of gaining more experience in their career.
“I think it will really help them, especially, Sunmisola, who has qualified for the Youth Olympics (in Buenos Aires). It is going to be a very good opportunity for her to be exposed and get more experience.”