Nigeria wrestlers, Emmanuel John and Esther Kolawole, yesterday departed the shores of the country for the past Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games World Qualifier to be held between May 6 and 9 at Sofia, Bulgaria.
Nation Sport reports that more than 400 wrestlers out of 84 nations have entered the World Qualifier in a final hope to adapt their nation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Each of the 18 categories will have two tickets up for grabs, with semifinal winners securing their spots.
The two wrestlers abandoned the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos at 8:45 pm aboard Turkish Airline in the company of national women’s team trainer Akuh Purity.
Five Nigerian wrestlers have already secured their credentials for the postponed Summer Games, which runs from 23 July to 8 August.
Discussing with Nation Sport, Purity admitted that the championship will be a demanding one but fancy the chances of wrestlers to fasten their qualifications.
He said: “I am very optimistic about the Emmanuel and Esther though it is a 50-50 thing. This is because everybody going to Sofia wants to be eligible but those who have more mental toughness will definitely qualify. How I see the two of these, I am quite positive that they will pick their tickets.
“That is the final hope for each and every wrestler on the whole planet to qualify for the Olympics. It is going to be tough for them but I am very optimistic. I saw their final wrestling games and I will see that it’s not exactly the exact same story. They have extraordinary skills in them. Their standard is high and that I have 70-80 per cent assurance that they will make it.
“We’ve got about eight Olympic medalists who have not qualified and they’ll be there. We have those who’ve just completed their trials within their nation and they are coming there. We have a lot of folks coming along with my wrestlers are of regular too. We are referring to getting awards in the Olympics and this is a proper place you can prove yourself,” Purity added.