By Solomon Nwoke, Warri
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Dr Daniel Igali has expressed delight at the standard of wrestlers performance at the maiden Chief E K Clark wrestling championship here in Warri, Delta state.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics gold medalist who was recently saddled with the leadership of the Wrestling Federation of Nigeria said that his goal is to see Nigeria win medals at the 2016 Olympics,vowing that wrestling would not suffer under his leadership.
Speaking at the backdrop of the fallen champions at the championship, Dr Igali said he would have been worried if at this competition, the known champions are not beaten.
He said, “ Our goal is to go to the Olympics in 2016 in Brazil and win medals and we are poised to do that and as one can see from the level of the competition we have had here, we are on the road to that.
I would have been very bothered if most of our champions are not beaten. That would have meant that there is no progress in the federation.
I hope we can have a little bit more of that because when that happens, and the fight for a place gets tougher, then we know that we are going to do better at continental and world levels and I am really excited by that development”.
Continuing, he said, “ I have a very healthy relationship with the National Sports Commisin ( NSC) and also a very roboust relationship with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and as you are aware, I double as the chairman of the Technical Committee of the NOC.
So you will know that wrestling will not be neglected and of course, NOC knows that wrestling is the hob of Nigerian sports in international championships. I will do whatever I can do to ensure that we improve on our last record at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games”.
He eulogised Delta state government for putting in place a wrestling championship in honour of one of Nigeria’s foremost elder statesmen, Chief E K Clark.
”I really want to thank the governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan for his kind gesture. I also want to thank the chairman of the Sports Commission in Delta state, Amaju Pinnick who has brought vibrancy to the organization here.
I think with due respect, to the standard I have seen here, it’s about one of the best tournaments we have ever had and my prayer is that we should continue to have this every year.
Chief EK Clark is a man we all adore for what he stands for in Nigeria and we really look up to him and be glad that he is alive to see that we appreciate him. I wish we could do more for people like him”,he said.