The president of Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Honorable Daniel Igali has revealed all the targets he and other stakeholders in the grapplers’ sport aim to achieve from the organization of the 2021 Champion of Champions in the coming weekend, megasportsarena.com reports.
While confirming that the competition will take place at the ultra-modern Theatre of Wrestling Complex in Yenizue Gene, Bayelsa State from this Friday, 15th to Monday the 18th, Igali noted that the contest will help put Nigeria’s Olympic Games hopefuls in prime shape ahead of a series of events that will take them to Tokyo, Japan later in the year.
The former Olympics gold medalist during his years of competing for Canada, further noted that the Champion of Champions Wrestling Championship will also put Nigeria’s grapplers in pole position to excel at this year’s Africa/Oceania qualifiers for Tokyo 2021 that will take place in El Jadida, Morocco early April.
He disclosed further that the invitational tournament, which is expected to feature the five top wrestlers in the six Olympic Games weight classes of women wrestling and freestyle events, will also mark the return to competition by Nigerian wrestlers, who last competed at the African Senior Wrestling Championships in Algeria early last year.
He further acknowledged that the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the local, continental and global wrestling calendar and efforts must still be taken to ensure health safety for all competitions this month as well.
The wrestling boss, who is also a former World Wrestling Championship gold medalist, added that, in their bid to encourage a large turnout for the competition, participation will be at no cost for participants, as the NWF will foot the bills for transportation, accommodation and feeding of the grapplers, coaches and referees.
The NWF president, who is also Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, disclosed as well as that the federation will observe the prevailing COVID-19 protocols to the letter all through the course of the impending competition commendable prizes will be awarded to the eventual champions.
Igali added: “The Champion of Champions is an initiative of mine, and the reason for it is to get our Olympic hopefuls prepared for the African Championships and the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualification tournament coming up in early April.
“The goal for this tournament is to have the top 5 athletes in the Olympic weight classes to square off. So, all five of them will square off against each other. So, they will have four quality matches in the middle of January, just to get them prepared and to set the stage for the rest of the season. We plan to have prizes for them.
“Baraza Multi-Purpose Society will help with some prizes. It will be COVID-19 compliant. We are only going to allow the required number of people in the hall – just the coaches, the referees, the wrestlers and very essential staff. So, we are not hoping to have more than 80 people in the hall.”