President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Hon. Daniel Igali has said he is satisfied with the performance of Team Nigeria at the just-concluded Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, despite the inability of any of the athletes to win a medal at the tournament.
World silver medalist (in 2017) Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Commonwealth gold-medalists Blessing Oborududu (68kg) and Aminat Adeniyi (63kg), as well as Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg), who claimed a silver medal at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year, all faltered in Budapest in their attempt to repeat or even surpass their historic 2017 performance at the Championships in Paris.
“The outcome was disappointing, but when you look at the effort everybody put into it, and you look at the draws and the circumstances that led to our not coming back with any medal, for me, I am not disappointed at all,” the Olympic champion said.
“In wrestling, things are not that clear cut, In terms of effort everybody put into it, they did what they could do; they are right there.
“Remember last year (at the World Championships), Russia that has a budget of about $18m per year for their wrestling team could not win a single medal in the freestyle events, but this year, they 3 gold medals.”
In a chat with NWF Media, the Bayelsa State Lawmaker stated that the team would have done better in Budapest if they had prepared adequately.
“I think if they had competed a bit more (before the tournament), definitely, Odunayo (Adekuoroye) wouldn’t have lost, preparing the best they can.
“And if you do everything right, it only means you’ve put them at par with others. It doesn’t mean you have done anything extraordinary for your people.
“So what we need to do is to prepare to our optimum and hope that next time, we are not going to look at draws anymore because if we are going to win tournaments, we have to beat everybody,” Igali informed.
Team Nigeria won medals at the last two World Championships, with Adekuoroye winning bronze in 2015 (in Las Vegas) and silver in 2017 (in Paris), becoming the first Nigerian to achieve that feat.