By Christian Ogbonna
The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) on Saturday disclosed that over 300 wrestlers and clubs from 32 states are expected to participate in the third edition of Gov. Seriake Dickson Wrestling Classics.
President of the Federation, Dr Daniel Igali, told members of the Sport Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN) in Yenagoa that the tournament would hold from June 25 to June 30.
Igali said that the tournament will hold inside the Indoor Sports Hall of the newly-refurbished Samson Siasia Sports Stadium in Yenagoa.
He said that the tournament would be an avenue to select athletes that will represent Nigeria at the 12th All-African Games in Morocco.
“It will also be an avenue to select wrestlers for the World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan. The world championship is the first Olympic qualifier.
“The event 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.
“In all, we are going to have 39 weight classes, 10 in male freestyles, female wrestling and Greco-Roman style. We are also going to have three junior weight classes in each freestyles.
“Out of the 39 classes, 30 is for the senior and nine is for junior. The competition will start on June 25 with three junior classes.
“From June 26, the game will be staged. So, we have four Greco-Roman styles on same day, two females and two male classes. It going to be competitive tournament,”Igali explained.
Mr Perekiye Buruboyefe, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports Development, said the competition holding in the state was a welcome development.
Buruboyefe said that the government has put facilities in order to ensure a successful tournament.
He said that the state government had made necessary arrangements with the police and other security agencies to ensure safer environment throughout the tournament.