Lagos – Nigeria’s Emmanuel Nworie, a 66kg Greco-Roman wrestler, lost his three-bouts opening fights at the ongoing African Wrestling Championships holding in Alexandria, Egypt.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the competition commenced on Friday and would end on March 6.
Daniel Igali, the President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), told NAN on telephone from the competition venue that Nworie “wrestled pretty badly’’.
“He lost all three bouts and I can only attribute that to match rustiness.
“This is something that is fixable though and that will be done before the Olympic qualifiers in Algiers.
“An amateur athlete cannot go without competing for more than three months without being rusty.
“ Again, he had three matches, which was quite too close. I saw that he did not recover very well from his weight cut.
“Apart from that, he also made so many mistakes which of course caused him the loss,” he said.
Igali, however, assured that the loss won’t have any impact on the other wrestlers.
”His loss will not have a negative effect on the other wrestlers. They have been told to let go and face other fights squarely.
“It is sad to see a gold medallist at the African Games wrestling the way he did. This is actually troubling and I am sure he will bounce back at the qualifiers,” he said.
NAN reports that 13 wrestlers comprised of eight female and five males, are representing the country at the championships.
The delegation is being led by Igali , accompanied by five coaches to guide the wrestlers.
The competition is compulsory for countries seeking to participate in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
The Olympic qualification will hold in Algiers from March 30 to April 4.
At the moment, only Odunayo Adekuruoye has qualified for the Rio Olympics. (NAN)