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Mats men fight with Olympics in mind

By Solomon Nwoke

AFTER their exploits at the last Commonwealth Games in India, the Nigerian Amateur Wrestlers are sweating it out again in Bayelsa at the 2nd Timipre Sylva National Wrestling championship to consolidate their place as others battle to book their names ahead of London 2012 Olympics.

The second edition of the championship which starts today draws the curtain on the activities of the Nigeria Amateur Wrestling Federation’s (NAWF) calendar to this year.

Wrestlers are expected from across the nation in all the weight categories – 30kg, 35kg, 46kg, 50kg, 65kg .66kg ,74kg, 74kg, 96kg, 120kg in freestyle, Greco Roman and female wrestling

Speaking on his expectations ahead of the tourney, the Technical Adviser of NAWF, Dr Daniel Igali said he was looking at a situation where all the wrestlers who haul gold medals at the Commonwealth Games are dethroned by other wrestlers, while some raw talents are discovered. He said he wants the wrestlers to prove to him that they have not been sleeping since after that Games in India.

“I want to see keen contest from the wrestlers, I want to see a situation where all the wrestlers who hauled medals at the last Commonwealth games n India are dethroned by new wrestlers, I want to see serious contest from the wrestlers to show that they have not been sleeping since after the Games in New Delhi, India. This will form the basis for the build up ahead of the 2012 Olympics in London. So I expect good outing from them in this competition”, he said.

“The championship would help in putting the wrestlers in their right frame of mind ahead of the African  championship in 2011 as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifier”, added Igali who is also former World Champion and Olympics gold medalist

He informed that his Excellency Governor Timipre Silver is bent on seeing that wrestling which is one of the major sports that Bayelsa state is noted for continues to blossom in the sub-region and even more when the state still maintain it’s number one position in wrestling in the continent.

He is also too keen in repositioning the sport  in the country  so that we can compete favorably with football.
The technical director equally advised  participating states to make discipline their watchword while insisting that there would be zero tolerance of indiscipline  throughout the duration of the  championship as all international rules guiding wrestling will be applied in its totality.


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