The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, has expressed his joy that at last, sparring partners for Nigerian wrestlers have arrived Rio as the team prepares for Olympic glory at the Games.
He however noted that the distraction of not allowing the training partners travel with the team was unhealthy for the common goal of Team Nigeria.
“They (sports authorities in Abuja) have met me half way by not approving all the training partners I requested for the team. As it is, we are still going to manage switching the partners for both male and female,” stress Igali who won Olympic gold for Canada his adopted country as a wrestler.
He however said that he is now happy despite the delay in allowing the sparring partners to arrive Rio with the wrestlers earlier.
“I am happy that they finally gave consent for them to join us. Initially, it was a blunt cancellation for them to come. Like they say, half bread is better than nothing. I am happy,’’ the wrestling boss who also doubles as technical director noted.
One other grey area that the former Olympian frowned at was the transport arrangement at the Athletes Village in Rio.
“It’s frustrating for me to be doing two hours from my hotel to join my athletes at the Athletes Village to train them. It takes a toll on me but I however see that as a sacrifice that we all make to serve our fatherland. But, it could have been better ensuring smooth transport arrangement for all those who have key roles to play in the Olympics,’’ he further observed.
Igali assured Nigerians that his wrestler would give their best to ensure a good performance that everybody would be happy with.
“The wrestlers are in good shape and doing well. I’m happy that the training partners are joining up. That will keep them in good shape for the battle ahead,’’ he concluded.