By Sab Oslo In Brazzaville:
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali has revealed he was overwhelmed by his wrestlers’ haul of nine gold medals at the concluded 11th All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Team Nigeria wrestlers won a total of nine gold medals; five silver and four bronze medals, to become the highest medal winning sport for Nigeria at the Games.
Igali told Completesportsnigeria.com that his federation surpassed their medals target at the Games.
“Honestly speaking, my athletes blew me out of this World. They overshot my target coming to the Games,” Igali remarked.
“Before coming to the All Africa Games here in Congo Brazzaville, my target was six gold medals.
“But winning as many as nine gold medals was something I did not dream of, and I’m now regretting not coming here with more wrestlers.”
The NWF boss said he could have come with additional four wrestlers if he knew he was coming to Congo Brazzaville for a festival of medals haul.
“I came to Congo Brazzaville with 21 wrestlers and 18 of them won medals. If I had imagined such performance, maybe I would have added more four wrestlers coming here.
“The most significant aspect was the gold medal we won in the Greeco Roman Style.
“The last time we won a gold medal in the Greeco Roman Style was in 1999. So you can imagine winning gold in that event sixteen years after,” Igali told Completesportsnigeria.com at Massamba Debat venue of the wrestling event.
On Nigeria’s overall performance at the concluded All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville, Igali said the important thing was not the overall position on the final table, but what the country can do at the global level.
“Kenya, for instance, does not rank amongst the top teams on the final medals table of the All Africa Games.
“But in the World, they are a strong voice based on their dominant role in the long distance races which they have continued to maintain year in, year out.
“In 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria, we won the overall medals table but the next year, we went to the Olympic Games in 2004 and just managed to win only one bronze medal,” Igali recounted.