Igali predicts poor outing for Nigeria at 2016 Rio Olympics
Former Olympic champion, Daniel Igali, has predicted that Nigerian athletes will not meet the expectations of the country at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games because they have not trained well.
Igali, who is the president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, says lack of fund has stalled the country’s preparations for the games, adding that the wrestling federation’s plans towards achieving success at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil scheduled for August 5 to 21 has been dashed by paucity of fund.
Seven wrestlers will don the nation’s outfit in both the male and female weight categories at the 2016 Olympics. The athletes are Odunayo Adekuoroye (53kg), Mercy Genesis (48kg), Aminat Adeniyi (58kg), Blessing Oborududu (63kg) and Hannah Reuben (69kg), Daniel Amas (65kg) and Soso Tamara (97).
Speaking to The Guardian at the weekend, Igali, who said the wrestlers just finished a two-week training in Bayelsa and will move to Abuja for final preparation, added: “We had two weeks of camping in Bayelsa and on Sunday (last Sunday) we will be moving to Abuja. From what I am hearing now, it is like they are saying there is no money in the sports ministry.”
Igali, a gold medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, said he was at his wit’s end on how to tackle the situation, adding, “but I think that question should be answered by those in authority.
“Not being able to follow our initial plans is what I am sensing, and if they do that the country can as well say goodbye to winning medals.
That was the fear that I have, it is only two months to the Olympics now. And this is the only time the athletes can actually warm up in preparation for the Olympics.”
But even in the current situation, Igali has not ruled out miracles happening in Brazil. “One thing you cannot rule out about the Nigerian spirit is that the athletes can still go out there and surprise the nation by winning medals.”