Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) president, Honourable Daniel Igali has enthused that the country’s wrestlers can return home with at least eleven gold medals from the Africa Games in Morocco.
Although he admitted the better prospects for Nigeria’s medals’ haul at Maroc 2019 is with the country’s female grapplers, the Olympic Games gold medalist, while representing Canada, says the men too can be counted on to ship in their own fare share of laurels.
Igali recounted during Mega Sports programme on Star 101. 5 FM, Lagos that Nigeria won the wrestling event at the last Games in Brazzaville, Congo four years ago, by claiming 19 medals comprising 9 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze, but he believes it will be better in Morocco.
However, with the 12th edition of the Games set to run from August 19th to 31st, Igali says the team needs adequate and proper preparations, with a verdict that they need early camping.
He also pointed to the essence of funding, as he recalled how difficult it was when he led a contingent of 16 wrestlers to the 2019 Africa Senior Wrestling Championship in Hammamet, Tunisia, where they won 6 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals, with the female team voted best overall.
Igali said: “From what I saw at the African Championships, the females have the capacity to win between 7 and 8 gold medals.
“If we prepare from now, I can almost guarantee that we will win about 7 and 8 gold medals with the women alone.
“I also see the possibility of 4 gold medals in the men, that takes us to over 10 gold medals, we can even talk of 11, which is our target.
“I’m very optimistic that if we prepare well and start now, because we are about three solid months away from the Games.
“We have already set our plans in motion for the Games. The coaches and the officials have started working already.
“If we start physical training now, go to the specifics in June, and tip off in July, then, by August, we will be fine to go and do the country proud.
“The wrestlers are looking forward to going there and I am sure they will make Nigeria proud out there in Morocco.”