By Oluwaseyi Oduneye
Lagos – Nigeria has won the hosting right for the 2018 Senior, Junior and Cadet African Wrestling Championships 42 years after the competition was instituted.
The President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos after the wrestling world body gave approval at its meeting in Paris, France.
Nigeria and Tunisia had bid to host the 2018 Africa Wrestling Championships.
Nigeria securing the hosting right means that the competition will be hosted by a West African country after 10 years it was hosted in the sub-region.
Agali said the championships would be staged at the Rivers State Indoor Sports Complex, Port Harcourt the Rivers capital city from Feb. 7 to Feb. 11.
“My sincere gratitude to goes to the host Governor, Nyesom Wike and the Federal Government through the Minister of Youth and Sport Solomon Dalung for ensuring the bid was successful.
“I thank also the Nigeria Olympic Committee and the President of the United World Wrestling Nenad Lalovic.
“The United World Wrestling Africa President, Fouad Meskout, the board of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation and indeed, all Nigerians for your support.
“We need to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in us by putting together one of the best organised African Wrestling Championships the continent has ever witnessed,’’ said Igali.
The Olympian added that hosting the championships was of great advantages to Nigeria as it would help to shore up the county’s image among nations.
“Hosting the championships will give us the opportunity to get new facilities or upgrade the existing ones. It will enable us get closer to modern trends in the sport.
“It will keep us in good stead with the International Wrestling Federation as partners rather than users.
“The hosting right will really advance the interests of wrestling in Nigeria, there are so many benefits in hosting a competition of such magnitude,’’ he said.