Daniel Igali, the Technical Adviser, Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), on Thursday restated that the preparation of his wards for the Olympic Games had not been taken seriously for Nigeria to make a difference.
Igali told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the Canadian team, which he competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, prepared adequately.
He said the preparations were taken seriously and the athletes engaged in competitions to expose them.
Igali said: ``What we have now in Nigeria is a situation where preparation is not taken as seriously as it should be.
“When going for competitions, we should be able to prepare adequately like what I experienced as an athlete preparing for the Olympics.
“I expect a country, which has clocked 50 years, to take training of athletes seriously but what I met has been frustrating”.
The technical adviser won a gold medal for Canada in the 69kg men’s freestyle category in the 2000 Sydney Games.
Igali told NAN that the federation was making plans to ensure that athletes got formal education alongside being sportsmen and women.
“We are trying to ensure that the younger generations of wrestlers embraced education by encouraging them to enrol in tertiary institutions near their homes.
``So that they can also have other means of livelihood apart from sports and not get stranded when there are no sporting activities,” he said.
He added that arrangements had been made to allow athletes currently schooling and who had missed classes or examinations because of competitions to catch up.
Igali, who is also a member of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, said that juggling his position as technical adviser and member of House had not been easy.
``Well, I must tell you that it has not been easy to manage both of them. However, when I was in Canada I was schooling, working and involving in sporting activities.
``So, I am a bit experienced in managing multi-tasks,” he said.
He assured Nigerians of clinching at least a medal at the London 2012 Olympics Games holding from July 27 to Aug. 12.
``I am sure we will get a medal at the Games whether it will be a gold or not, I am not sure but whatever it is, we will use it to aim for more,” Igali said.