By Solomon Nwoke
STILL basking in the euphoria of their good outing at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, Team Nigeria Wrestling, Technical Adviser, Daniel Igali has said he does not wish to give up his position in the Nigeria Amateur Wrestling Federation (NAWF) until he sees the team to winning an Olympic medal.
Dynamite as Igali is fondly called by his fans said his topmost priority at the moment was next year’s All-Africa Games in Mozambique and the World Championships in Turkey which serves as qualifying tournaments for the London 2012 Olympics where he hopes to see one of his wrestlers win an Olympic medal.
He said, “ if that doesn’t come to pass, don’t expect Igali to leave the stage for one of his assistants to take charge”, insisting that he was going nowhere until a Nigerian wrestler, wearing the country’s colours, wins an Olympic medal.
“I don’t see myself leaving the team in the nearest future , I am going to be around with them till 2020 because I see a gold coming and we really have to start planning now. We have never won an Olympic medal in wrestling and we hope that we will break that jinx soon.
I have an athlete in the female 67kg weight class, Iheanacho Chioma that won a bronze medal two years in a roll and others will be ripe for the next Olympic medals.
We have quite a number of coaches in the coaching crew but I don’t see myself leaving the scene until we win an Olympic gold medal,” he added.
The Nigerian-born Canadian Olympic gold medallist said he was satisfied with the results posted by the wrestlers he took to the Games in India. He also believed they could have done better.
Nigerian wrestlers won three gold and silver apiece and seven bronze medals as all the wrestlers got to the quarterfinals.
He said, “I‘m satisfied with the way they wrestled, satisfied because I wanted between two and Six gold medals, satisfied because we are in the range, satisfied because we won over 10 medals in all and we quite exceeded what we wanted to do and I think that‘s a big achievement”..
”Some of the wrestlers competed with severe injuries and it was obvious they were ready to die for Nigeria. I was moved by their patriotism and I believe they should be encouraged.”, he added.