From all indications, World Wrestling silver medalist, Odunayo Adekuoroye; Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Aminat Adeniyi, three-time African champion, John Emmanuel and other athletes from Ondo State may not be representing the Sunshine State at the forthcoming to Governor Dickson National Wrestling Classics billed to hold in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State between 15th and 30th June, 2019, NationSport reports.
The Head Coach of Ondo State Wrestling team, Akuh Purity informed NationSport that the government have not shown concern towards the wrestlers and are not ready to sponsor the team, which left them with no other option than to pitch their tent with the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM) team.
Other Ondo State medal hopefuls that will join the MFM team also include African champions, Bisola Makanjuola and Sunmisola Balogun; Commonwealth bronze medalist, Bose Samuel; Africa cadet champions, Esther Kolawole and Mercy Adekuoroye.
“Ondo state is not ready for the Governor Dickson Wrestling Classics. So we are trying to solidify with MFM team because we are not sure if the state will sponsor us.
“MFM wrestlers are sponsored by MFM and the Ondo State wrestlers among them have not been paid allowance by the state since last year up till this minute. I cannot say because I am a staff, collecting my salary every month and decide not to see to the plight of the tools I’m using. So I’ve decided to go with them. We will be attending the Governor Dickson Classics as MFM team.
“Remember Ondo State was at the bottom at the last National Sports Festival before wrestling team competed and brought the state to the 9th position. All of us have decided to shift our base to where we will get the support.
“All the international competitions Odunayo has been attending, to the extent of being ranked No. 4 in the World, Ondo State have not supported her. All her international trips have been sponsored by MFM with support from the Honourable Daniel Igali led Nigeria Wrestling Federation and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. So why will she not represent MFM at the Dickson Classics.
“When Blessing Okagbare was at Odunayo’s age, it was the then Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan that gave her that support before she could become what she is today. We have two-time Commonwealth champion Aminat (Adeniyi); the only male wrestler that won gold at the last African Championship, Emmanuel (John); youngest African Champions Sunmisola (Balogun) and so on in this state and the government is not giving them the support,” Purity, who is also the national female coach told NationSport.
No fewer than 500 athletes and officials from different states and wrestling clubs around the country are expected in Yenagoa for the Classics which will also be used to select athletes that will represent Nigeria at the 12th All-Africa games in Morocco and the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan in September.