By Solomon Nwoke
AT least not less than over 500 athletes from different states of the federation and clubs are expected to participate in the 3rd Governor Seriake Dickson National Wrestling Classics scheduled for 24th to 30th June, 2018 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The competition organised under the auspices of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) will feature all the three wrestling styles (Greco Roman, Freestyle and Women Wrestling) in the senior (20 years and above) and cadet (15 to 17 years) categories with 10 new weight classes in the senior level, as well as five Olympic classes for the cadet athletes.
Already, invitation letters have been sent out to the chairmen of the different state wrestling associations, who have been advised to present the necessary documents for their cadet athletes.
President of the Federation Dr. Daniel Igali in a chat with Sporting Vanguard, informed that the Classics will be used as a trial for upcoming global tournaments, including the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, later this year.
“We are going to have the Governor Dickson National Wrestling Classics from the 24th to the 30th of June, 2018. That is going to be the tournament that we would use to select our national teams for the World Championships, for the Cadet World Championships, the Junior World Championships and the U-23 World Championships,” the Vice-President of the Commonwealth Wrestling Committee disclosed.
“So, it is going to be a very interesting tournament.
“We are still not decided whether a couple of countries from Africa will attend, but hopefully, in the next two weeks, I will be able to give you that briefing.”
The Bayelsa State Lawmaker also informed that the competition level at the tournament will be very high, as the country’s elite athletes will all be part of the event.
“It’s going to be a high level tournament,” the Olympic champion said. “We are hoping to have over 500 athletes.
“We will have all our top guns there, they obviously have to be able to finish first in their weight classes to qualify for the World Championships.