President of the Nigeria Olympic Commission (NOC), Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has urged athletes and federations vying to represent the nation at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland, to step up their performances.
The NOC boss likened the Glasgow Games to another Olympics considering the numbers of top class athletes expected to enter for the biennial championships.
“Glasgow Games will be completely different from the Delhi Games in India because there are some countries and top class athletes that boycotted India for one reason or the other probably because they considered India as a developing country and all that, but Glasgow is in Europe, and I want to say that we are going to have the highest class of athletes attending,” Ndanusa said.
“So it’s going to be far, far different from the C’Wealth Games that was held in India. I must say the difference between the Glasgow and the Olympics is going to be slim. So all the sports going for it should bear in mind that we are going for another Olympics because all the top class athletes in the Commonwealth countries are going to be there. So therefore, our game plan, energy, effort and commitment have to be increased greatly.”
Engr. Ndanusa who was in Yenagoa to watch the maiden edition of the Governor Seriake Dickson Wrestling Classic which ended at the weekend in Yenagoa expressed delight at the performance of the wrestlers and urged them not to relent on their oars as they are bound to meet most of the world’s best athletes at the Games in Scotland.
“I must congratulate the people and government of Bayelsa state for supporting all this important tournament that brings all the wrestlers from about 22 states of the federation. Also I must give kudos to the leadership of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation for the innovation and commitment they have shown since they came into power especially, the president, Hon Daniel Igali. He has shown full passion and he brings to bear his wealth of technical quality and experience to repositioning wrestling in Nigeria.
“I watched most of the bouts and I must say there is great improvement so far. Some of the athletes that won bronze in the last Commonwealth Games in India were defeated here and that shows that there is great development and I will discuss with the president of the NWF and technical crew of the wrestling federation to redouble their efforts ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” he continued.
Bayelsa State emerged champions in the wrestling tourney which ended on Saturday in Yanagoa.
The state’s female wrestlers finished tops in the freestyle category but placed second behind Delta State in the Greco Roman wrestling, winning a total of 13 gold medals, four silvers and seven bronzes.