The President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Hon Daniel Igali (OLY) will step in as the coach of the wrestling team ahead of the 2020 Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in the Italian city of Rome.
This is following the robbery incident of the women’s wrestling coach, Purity Akuh on his way to Lagos from Akure, Ondo state capital.
The Sydney Olympic champion hailed the sports minister, Sunday Dare for his timely intervention in ensuring Nigeria is represented at the wrestling tournament.
Igali who doubles as the Bayelsa state commissioner for sports wrote on his social media page that, “The head coach of Nigeria women’s wrestling team, Purity Akuh got robbed and valuables including his international passport dispossessed.
“My athletes are due to compete in Rome in two days and they would have been there without a coach. I had to step in last minute to cover for the coach; these are things we do. I want to say a big thank you to the Minister of sports, Sunday Dare for making it possible for the girls to be at the Pellicone Ranking tournament.
Reigning world bronze medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) and Commonwealth champion Blessing Oborududu (68kg), will be joined multiple African and Commonwealth champion, Aminat Adeniyi (62kg), as well as Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg) and Mercy Genesis (50kg).
In Rome, the five wrestlers – all gold medalists at the 12th African Games in Morocco – will be contesting for crucial ranking points which will boost their seeding at the 2020 Olympics in Japan later this year.
The tournament is also expected to put the wrestlers in good shape prior to the 2020 African Championships in Algeria early next month and the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier in El Jadida, Morocco, which will take place in March.