With less than five days to the start of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, has raised the alarm on medals. He said on Monday the country should not expect any medal-winning performance from the seven wrestlers if their training partners are not allowed to travel with them to the Games.
Nigeria will feature seven wrestlers in Rio – Odunayo Adekuoroye, Blessing Oborududu, Aminat Adeniyi, Hannah Reuben, Mercy Genesis, Amas Daniel and Soso Tamarau. They are seen as medal hopefuls for the country.
The seven wrestlers were expected to depart the country for Rio on Monday but have yet to know the fate of their training partners, who Igali said would enable each wrestler to work on his and her weak points.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics gold medallist said since the wrestlers would not be competing until August 17, which is 16 days after their departure from the country, they needed to have partners who they would train with to avoid them getting behind in fitness for the matches ahead.
He added that failure to do that would affect their level of their performance in Rio.
He said, “In elite sports, little things matter a lot and as a nation, Nigeria must go beyond the stage of depending on luck to win competitions and do things in the right way.
“I don’t believe in outcome, I believe in process and part of the process is their training partners. We don’t have to do things the Nigerian way but the right way.
“If Nigerians want medals, come forward to us as the Nigeria wrestling team needs to take five training partners and one coach to Brazil. The wrestlers cannot afford to stay off shape as over 200 teams will participate in wresting.”
He however expressed optimism about the team’s ability to win medals if the right thing was done to help them.