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Champion of Champions Wrestling tournament excites Igali

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• Says federation working to get five more slots for Olympics
The National Wrestling Federation President, Daniel Igali, has expressed satisfaction with the performances of wrestlers, who took part in the three-day Baraza Champion of Champions Wrestling Tournament at Yenizue Gene in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Igali described the competition as a huge success, saying that one of its major highlights was the upsets created by Odunayo Adekuoroye’s younger sister, Mercy and Kadijat Idris.

“I will say I was impressed with almost every athlete who took part in the competition despite several months of inactivity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Blessing Oborududu, Amina Adeniyi, Odunayo Adekuoroye impressed me a lot with their executions on the mat. In fact, I will say virtually all of them wrestled extremely well and I am pleased with them,” he said.

The former World and Olympics champion continues: “We had Kadijat Idris from Kogi State that won her first gold medal in the 50kg after beating the former African silver medalist in that class. In the 53kg too, we had an upset from a teenager, Mercy Adekuoroye, who won her first senior gold medal by beating Bose Samuel, who has been the champion in that weight class for some years now. Samuel was an Africa champion in 2018. I hope there will be more competitions in those weight classes that will record upsets.”

Speaking further, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports said: “For the Olympics qualifiers, no doubt, Adekuooroye is the only athlete that has qualified. The goal of the federation is to get another five to seven more athletes to join her.

“The coaches are working hard and the wrestlers are poise to get the Olympics slots. We are working very hard and we are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to actualise our goal,” Igali stated.

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