Head coach of the Bayelsa State wrestling team, Victor Kodei has expressed optimism that the state will once again dominate this year's edition of the Governor Dickson Classics billed to hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Samson Siasia Stadium from 23rd to 30th June, 2019.
In a chat with NationSport, the five-time Commonwealth Champion, who revealed that the state will be presenting 30 strong athletes for the 3rd edition of the championship, said other states must also ensure the development of the sport.
“Our preparation has been fantastic being the host. If possible host to win, if not possible fine because we have been doing that, not only this one,” begins the head coach of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation.
“We don't have provisions for camping per say but we are training it as we normally do it. The junior ones and the senior ones are there, we will mingle them to make sure we get the best that will represent the state at the Classics.
“We have 10 athletes in every style. 10 from Greco Roman, 10 from Freestyle and 10 from Woman Wrestling. So 30 wrestlers will represent the state from different styles.”
Speaking further, the 4-time Olympian said, “The style of women wrestling can be dominated by Ondo or anybody but all we need to know is that wrestling must not die but improve from every other corner. Not that because Bayelsa is a wrestling state, then everything should be from Bayelsa, no. Improvement should come from different states and then we would know that the game is improving and everybody has to work more harder.
“We have high standard in female wrestling now and little above average standard for the men for now for the past championship. So after the competition we have to build them, package them very well for the All Africa Games,” the 14-time African champion told NationSport.
The wrestling Classics will have in attendance around 600 athletes and officials from no fewer than 20 states and 16 wrestling clubs in Nigeria, who have already registered for the competition.
Apart from being crowned National champions, athletes who excel at the Classics will represent Nigeria at the 12th All-Africa Games in Morocco, as well as the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan in September.