By Solomon Nwoke, Warri
The maiden Chief E K Clerk Open Wrestling Championship in Warri recorded a major upset in its first day of competition in the Greco Roman category, 96 kg weight class as the Commonwealth Games Champion, Joe Agbonibare representing Edo State was defeated by Delta State’s Soso Tamara 7-0.
Agbonebare was so dazed by the Eko 2012 gold medalist that it took his state wrestling officials sometime to bring him back to his feet. He was dumbfounded as to what happened to him when reporters on ground sought to know from him what caused his defeat.
In contrast, Delta state’s Tamara attributed his feat as an act of God made easy by hard training.
” In fact it was really God’s doing and also a result of hard work. I give God all the glory and I pray to win the final place to earn call up for the Commonwealth Games camping ahead of 2014 Games in Canada”, he said.
By his defeat, Agbonebare has been eliminated from the Greco Roman style of wrestling and would only have the opportunity of fighting his way back to reckoning in the men’s free style event which begins later today.
Speaking on the upset, the technical director of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Sir Damien Ohaike said it was a good development for the sport. He said if champions are not defeated by upcoming wrestlers, it means the federation is not doing well, adding that more there will be more upsets as the competition progresses.
He said, “that ïs good for thé sport. It shows that the federation is working and I am sure that more will fall before the end of the championship.”
He however stated that Agbonebare’s defeat does not mean the door to being called to the camp is shut at him. “He still has the opportunity of making it in freestyle.”
Greco Roman wrestling is more complicated and very technical in that wrestlers are only allowed to grip opponents from the waist to the upper side of the body. Also the new rules will definitely affect the wrestlers who are not conversant with them”.
He however said that six wrestlers from each of the 10weight categories would be invited for camping when the final team for the Commonwealth Games will be selected.