The First edition of the Governor Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics is set to get underway in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Friday.
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali while briefing Sports Journalists in Yenagoa said a total of 500 wrestlers from about thirty States and ten clubs from the country will be taking part in the competition.
The NWF President who is the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development in Bayelsa State stated that arrangements had been concluded for a hitch free tournament billed to end next Tuesday.
According to him, winners at the Governor Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics would represent the country at the forthcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games due to be held in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8 this year.
Igali expressed the hope that the Classics would provide a veritable platform for new competition for the athletes and to prepare them for the Commonwealth Games.
“The State is very ready and I want to thank Senator Douye Diri, for the maximum support he has given to the first Governor Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics.
We are expecting over 30 States so far 25 have arrived. We are expecting to have 500 athletes and 350 have already arrived. All our top wrestlers are going to be here as this is very important for them.
This the tournament we are going to use to select the team for the African Championship, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championship later in the year. Adunayo Adekuoroye is coming in from Canada, all them are poised to come compete and make the national team.”
Igali concluded saying “Everybody is ready and I am hoping quite a number of champions are going to be dethroned here.”
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Silver Medalist, Blessing Oborududu in an interview with Sports Journalists expressed her readiness to defend her national title despite battling with a knee injury.
“I am 80 percent okay to wrestle in this tournament. To become a champion is not easy to maintain it is hard. I know the younger ones are preparing for me, so, I also keep fit by training everyday to wrestle anyone that would come my way. I am ready to wrestle in this competition.”
Oborududu went on to reveal that the knee injury is still there stating “the MRI test results says I need a knee replacement. And if I get that done I won’t be able to wrestle anymore. So, for the period I can still wrestle, I will have to go through the pain to wrestle.”
The Governor Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics begins on Friday with the Under 15 age grade, then Graeco Roman and Free style and female wrestling in seven weight classes each day till the final on May 3.