As the battle for medals in wrestling will finally kick off and rumble at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday, August 2, Chairman Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation and Olympic gold medalist, Daniel Igali is confident that Team Nigeria will shock every prophet of doom with podium performances.
With the Tokyo Olympics already at the halfway mark and no single medal yet for Team Nigeria, expectations from Wrestling has suddenly hit the rooftop with all eyes on two-time Commonwealth gold medalist and world champion, Odunayo Adekuruoye, who would begin her mat invasion on August 4.
Igali who has been the pillar behind the wrestling revolution in Nigeria said the Tokyo 2020 Games is Nigeria’s best chance to be on the podium, stressing that they have done enough to put the Wrestlers in the mix for medals.
“The Tokyo Olympics appears to be our best chance to be on the podium,” he said.
“I still believe at the halfway stage of the Olympics, that Nigeria has chances of medals. I know that even with the best conditions and best preparations, winning medals at the Olympics is not guaranteed, but in all three Olympics I have been involved, two as a national coach, this appears to be our best chance to be on the podium- no pressure.
“We cannot talk about optimum preparations, but as far as preparations go, I believe we have done enough to put our wrestlers in the mix for medal(s).
“We will do our best. Am glad that the whole country is getting to know a bit about the work we have been doing. I got Adekuoroye in the national team camp in 2009 and have been grooming her alongside her coach (Purity Akuh) now, 12 years after.
“Same with Blessing Oborududu who is ranked No 2 in the world also. I discovered Blessing Oborududu from an Inter House wrestling competition at her high school and had her on the national camp from 2007. I only wish the private sector will be more motivated and involved in our Olympic preparations and multi-sport games and the preparation of our athletes. See how everyone in Nigeria is anxious to see us do well. Why can’t we individually and collectively donate to support these athletes all through the 4 years,” Igali inquired