Nigeria Wrestling Federation says Anambra athletes will not be part of the nation’s team to the All African Games in Morocco later this year.
Emeka Dennar, the Public Relations Officer of the federation, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Friday.
Dennar said the two national female champions from Anambra, Ifeoma Nwoye and Rosemary Nweke, lost their chances because they did not participate in the just-concluded Governor Seriake Dickson Wrestling Championship in Bayelsa.
He said that the federation expected the two athletes at the competition but was surprised by their failure to attend.
Dennar said that by failing to attend the championship, they lost their chances, adding that the Beyalsa event was a criterion for selecting wrestlers for the continental games.
He said: “Anambra wrestling did not show up as a team during the recently concluded Governr Seriake Dickson Wrestling Championship, though we have two champions there, Nwoye and Nweke.
“Surprisingly, the star wrestlers did not even get across to the federation to tell us their challenges.
“We are surprised they did not come and by that they have missed the opportunity of being part of Nigeria’s team to the games because that competition serves as qualifier for our athletes.
“We always want to go out with our best, I am sure they will be missed but I am also sure that those who replaced them will do well in the competition.
“They are the shining light of Anambra and the state should do their best to make sure they attended.”
In a reaction, Usman Ali, Coach of Anambra Wrestling team, expressed dismay over the refusal of the athletes to join Anambra team in Bayelsa.
He said: “I don’t just know why they did not come. We called them and they said they will join us.
“If they had any problems, they should let us know. We would have done better if they participated.”
He said that Anambra was represented at the Bayelsa tournament and won one silver medal in the 60+ weight of the male category.
Also, a stakeholder in Anambra sports, who pleaded anonymity, said that athletes would be ready to heed call up, if they were well motivated.
He advised sports administrators to ensure that athletes, who are doing well are optimally motivated in order to get the best from them.
According to him, the state has lost another opportunity to contribute to the country’s success in the continental games.