The United World Wrestling (UWW) has confirmed that Nigeria will host the 2018 African Wrestling Championship.
The world wrestling ruling body approved that the competition be held from February 7th to 11th in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after beating Tunisia in the bid for the hosting rights.
The President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali in a chat with ACLSports.com said the feat calls for more more work, expressing gratitude to the President of United World Wrestling Federation, Nenad Lalovic, Fouad Meskout and Governor of Rivers State, Neysom Wike.
Don’t congratulate us. Pray for us. There is a lot of work to be done, Igali told ACLSports.com.
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“My gratitude to the president of the UWW, Lalovic, president of the UWW Africa, Mr Meskout, bureau members of the UWW, Governor Wike who had funded the whole bidding process, the federal government through the Honorable Minister Solomon Dalung, members of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, our Wrestling fans and stakeholders as well as journalists from all persuasions who have been so supportive of our ambition to host”.
He said, “I think that the hosting of the 2018 Africa Championship is an excellent way to show that Wrestling is making steps forward and gaining momentum in Nigeria. It will give an incentive for people with the upcoming wrestlers, private investors and Federal Government to get involved in sport our country.”
The return of the Sydney 2000 Gold medalist into the Nigeria wrestling fold, has turned around the fortune of the nation, ensuring the country claim over 50 medals from their participation in African, Commonwealth and World Championships.
Under the leadership of Daniel Igali, Nigeria wrestler Odunayo Adekuoroye (55kg) signed with an India Wrestling League (Pro Wrestling), and for the first time the Nigerian female wrestler is ranked number one in the world.
North African countries who had hosted the previous continental championships in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia with the Sub Saharan nations are struggling to feature since 2012.
Earlier in July, the Rivers State Government had expressed readiness to host the African Championships when the UWW Africa Boss, Fouad Meskout paid a two-day facilities inspection visit to Port Harcourt.