Breaking: Nigeria Picks Adekuoroye, 12 other Wrestlers for African Championship

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By Kuti Dare

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) in Abuja confirmed that 13 wrestlers will participate at the 2016 African Wrestling Championships in Alexandria, Egypt from March 4th to 6th.

The Technical Director NWF, Damien Ohiake said the team consists of one Greco Roman Wrestler, Four freestyle male wrestlers, eight female wrestlers and five officials.

The male freestyle wrestlers are; Amas Daniel, Soso Tamara, Welson Ebikewenimo and Melvin Bibo while Nworie Emmanuel is the only Greco Roman wrestler.

It will be recalled Nworie Emmanuel won Nigeria a Gold medal in the Greco Roman Category at the 2015 All Africa Games.

The female wrestlers are Adekuoroye Odunayo, Adeniyi Aminat, Oborududu Blessing, Rueben Hannah, Onyebuchi Blessing, Nweke Rosemary, Genesis Mercy and Nwoye Ifeoma.

Damien said the African championship in Egypt is a prerequisite to the Olympic qualifications scheduled for March 30th to April 4th in Algeria.

He added that the rationale behind the inclusion of 5 officials was to avoid the incident which happened in Congo where all female wrestlers featured in the finals of the All Africa Games.

The officials are head coach, Victor Kodei, Purity Akuh (Female Coach), Emeka Obidinma, Godswill Tiebiri and Damian Ohaike.

The Team has been in Bayelsa camp with was banked rolled by The President NWF, Hon Daniel Igali.

It will be recalled that some Sub-Saharan African Wrestling Federations have raised concern over their participations in both the 2016 Africa Wrestling Championship as well as the Olympic qualification.

The Nigerian team will on Wednesday depart for Alexandria and will have to participate in the Olympic qualifications in Algeria is barely 2 weeks after African championship.

Nigeria Sensation, Odunayo Adekuoroye is the only female wrestler who has qualified for the Olympics in Africa.

According to the United World Wrestling, the governing body for amateur wrestling, the competition is a compulsory one for countries seeking to participate in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

“Only wrestlers of the continent concerned whose National Olympic Committee took part in the 2016 continental championships will be able to participate in the continental qualification tournament with the same number of wrestler per style,” the UWW wrote.

The competition, which is holding before the Olympic qualification tournament in Algeria, will feature over 250 senior wrestlers across the continent.

Apart from Odunayo Adekuoroye, who qualified for the Olympics last year, Nigeria has yet to get other wrestlers in for the quadrennial event.

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