Nigerian Wrestling Federation (NWF) president, Honorable Daniel Igali has disclosed that he is thinking of top-four placements for all five of the country’s wrestlers that will compete at this year’s World Ranking Wrestling Series Events in Rome, Italy.
Starting from Tuesday, January 14 to the 19th, Nigeria will bank on glory from World Wrestling Championship bronze medalist, Oduanyo Adekuoroye, alongside Blessing Oborodudu, Amina Adeniyi, Mercy Genesis and Blessing Oyebuchi, but Igali says it is not just about finishing first.
The former Olympic Games gold medalist with Canada point out that Coach Purity Akuh and the grapplers know that they only need to finish within the first four positions in all their weight categories for them to get favourable placements for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
He added that the trip to Rome is part of the preparations for Tokyo 2020 in Japan come August, ahead of which he pointed out that the event in Italy is a ranking series tournament where the wrestlers could get points and avoid tough opponents until the semi-final stage of the Games.
Igali added: “This is part of the training for the Olympics, and it is also a world ranking series tournament. The athletes are going to be there till January 19th. It is a tournament where any point they score will count towards their rankings at the Olympics.
“What that means is that the top four ranked wrestlers don’t get to meet one another until the semifinals. So, our goal is to ensure we have a couple of athletes ranked in the top four so that they don’t meet the top ranked wrestlers until the semifinals in Tokyo.”