The president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) said on Sunday that the country’s team would target multiple podium finishes at the World Wrestling Championships in Serbia.
Igali said this while welcoming the 11-man contingent in Serbia, according to a statement by the media assistant to the NWF, Promise Okotoko, in Lagos.
The 11-man contingent departed Abuja on Saturday and landed in Serbia on Sunday morning to participate in the first Olympic qualifier.
“The contingent of six wrestlers, two coaches, one medical personnel, and two officials departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Saturday night aboard a Turkish Airlines flight and arrived in Serbia on Sunday morning.
“The tournament will run from September 16 to 22.
“President of the NWF, Igali, who had left the country a day earlier, noted that the Nigerian contingent was expected to quickly find their rhythm and settle in, ready to take on the challenges that lay ahead,” said Igali.
Igali said that with the wrestlers’ exceptional talent and unwavering determination, he hopes they can secure multiple podium finishes.
“The world champion expressed his appreciation to the Nigeria Olympic Committee, the Federal Ministry of Sports, and the Bayelsa State government for playing various roles to ensure the participation of team Nigeria in the first Olympic qualifier.
“Mr Igali also appreciated Nigeria Customs Service comptroller general, Adewale Adeniyi, a board member of the Federation, for his generous send-forth of the contingent, which added extra motivation for the athletes to excel in Belgrade,” he added.
Expressing confidence ahead of their matches, the captain of Team Nigeria, Blessing Oborududu, outlined the team’s ambition to excel in multiple categories, including reaching finals and vying for medals.
The Olympic silver medalist expressed optimism about the team’s performance, noting that their focus extended beyond wrestling, encompassing a broad range of disciplines.
A first-time participant, Hannah Reuben, expressed her excitement to debut in the prestigious global competition, adding that she was in Belgrade to make Nigerians proud.
Meanwhile, Mercy Genesis will compete in the 50kg category, Odunayo Adekuoroye in the 57 kg category, and Hannah Reuben in the 76kg category on the 19th and 20th.
Blessing Oborududu will compete in the 68kg, Esther Kolawale, 62 kg, and Ogunsanya Christiana Tolulope, 53 kg, categories on the 20th and 21st.