By Sedara Philip
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Dr. Daniel Igali has hinted that the odds have increased for Wrestling to improve on Japan Olympic success after the Federation secured the service of a United World Wrestling trainer Angel Pineda
Dr. Igali who spoke to journalists in Yenagoa described the presence of Angel Pineda as a boost to the coaches and wrestlers as it would improve their awareness and modern understanding of the game.
Daniel Igali who won numbers of international tournaments noted the importance of Wrestling to Nigeria as it was the only Federation that won Nigeria’s Silver medal at the last Olympic in Japan
“The aim of these programmes is to select our National Team members that will represent us at the upcoming Senior African Wrestling championships in Tunisia”
“As we all know the Wrestling Federation has been one of the highest performing Federations for Nigeria over the years”
“Infact at the last Olympic games Wrestling came on top with the highest medal which is the silver medal won by Blessing Oborodudu and our aim is to surpass that record come Paris 2024 Olympic games that’s why preparations are already in top gear”
On the other hand, Dr. Igali sends his appreciation to the United World Wrestling for approving a trainer from Cuba to Nigeria who will help in preparation for African championships in May and also other pre-qualifiers for the Olympics
“Angel Pineda is going to be here with us in the next 3 months to prepare our athletes for the earlier stated competitions and not only the athletes but we want our coaches to understudy him for optimal performances”
“From the little I have seen of his training sessions he is a very top performer and we hope our coaches and athletes will learn from his wealth of knowledge”
“We are indeed very grateful to the President of the United World Wrestling for paying the fees of Mr Pineda, what is left for us is to just to take care of his living expenses within Nigeria and if three months is not enough we hope we would be able to extend it so that our people will benefit fully”
Similarly, Daniel Igali who doubles as the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development thanked the Bayelsa State Government for financially supporting the programmes of the Wrestling Federation
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank the Bayelsa State Government led by Governor Douye Diri and his deputy Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo for the support they gave to the Nigeria Wrestling Federation during our National trails and also for taking care of all the expenses of Mr Angel Pineda who is going to be here for three months”
“The Bayelsa State Government has always ensured that the Wrestling team anytime we are camped in Yenagoa is properly and well looked after”
Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Igali also added that the NWF would be going with the contigent of 30 athletes comprising of 10 female wrestlers, 10 Gre-Roman wrestlers and 10 Freestyle wrestlers to the Senior African Wrestling championships coming up in Tunisia from May 15th to 21th May.