Nigeria’s contingent to the ongoing 2020 African Wrestling Championships in Algeria, on Thursday, arrived Algiers – venue of the completion – brimming with confidence.
The delegation of 20 athletes and officials, which left Lagos a day earlier, touched down at the Houari Boumediene International Airport around 3:15 pm local time (which is also same time in Nigeria) via a Turkish airline flight and were immediately conveyed to their base, Hotel L’Olympic, in Cherega district of Algiers, about an hour drive from the airport.
Speaking shortly after arriving Algiers, Team captain and 5-time African champion Amas Daniel (65kg) said he and his teammates are ready to conquer the continent.
“The team is very ready, mentally we’re ready, physically we’re much prepared,” he said. “So, we are very ready.
“People should be optimistic because we’ve trained a lot. Wrestling is all about your training, and when you know you’ve trained very well, that is what gives you confidence. You know we’ve been practicing in our camps. We are very, very confident to dominate Africa, and we are ready.
“Nigerians are expecting a lot from us, and we will not let them down,” the 2014 Commonwealth silver-medalist promised.
Team Nigeria female wrestlers – winners of 5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals at the last edition of the tournament in Tunisia – are the defending champions, and are gunning for a record-extending 9th consecutive triumphs at the tournament.
Leader of the delegation and secretary general of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Umar Lambu, who stood in for the NWF president Hon. Daniel Igali, said the Team’s mission in Algiers is to successfully defend that title.
“The journey was smooth. We thank God for journey mercies, we arrived safely.
“And our mission here is to replicate what our athletes did last year. You know last year we won the title of African champions in female wrestling. The main aim is to come and defend that title. We hope to replicate that performance to make our country Nigeria proud.”
The team is officially billed to have its first training session at 9:30am on Friday, before taking to the mats for action on Saturday in Women Wrestling.
The men are scheduled to wrestle on the final day of competition on Sunday.