With Nigeria’s five women wrestlers out of contention at the ongoing Rio Olympics, Daniel Igali, President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), says he has lost N1 million bet on their winning medals.
Igali, also Technical Director of NWF, apparently devastated by the results on Friday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that the development was saddening.
“I had placed a N1million bet on these girls winning medals. I feel so sad and sorry for these wrestlers because they have put in a lot of hardwork to get these poor results.
“It is indeed sad because these wrestlers sacrificed a lot and did not deserve these defeats.
“How I wish there is local Nigerian gin, known widely as `Ogogoro’ for me to drink to steady nerves,’’ he said at the Games Village after the humiliating losses.
The coach, who is a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly said: “Look at me. I have been an absentee lawmaker because of the wrestlers.
“Out of 87 sittings in the House, I was only present 13 times. Imagine that! All because of this national assignment,” Igali said.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics gold medallist for Canada, added that most the annoying aspect was that most of those girls that inflicted these defeats had been previously beaten by our wrestlers.
With the female wrestlers out, the remaining two male wrestlers, Amas Daniel and Soso Tamara will take to the mat tomorrow, the closing day of the Games.
NAN reports that Reuben Hanna Amuchechi lost 4-1 to Canadian Dorothy Yeats in the 69kg freestyle, while Mercy Genesis (48kg) lost 5-0 to Nina Matowustka of Poland.
Aminat Adeniyi (58kg) also lost her fight in the round of 16 like her compatriots.
Reacting to the ouster of the female wrestlers, the Public Reliations Officer of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said that it was heart-wrenching.
Ubani said in a statement that the most devastating of the losses were those of Blessing Oborududu and Odunayo Adekuoroye.
Both were defeated in dramatic circumstances with Oborududu losing 3-1 to Soronbold Battsetseg of Mongolia.
Oborududu lost on technical points to Battsetseg after tying at 1-1 on the result sheet.
But Adekuoroye who was known for her after victory celebration dance was completely bemused at her 8-0 loss to Sweden’s Mattsson Sofia Magdalena.