Emotional Igali speaks from Rio; Don’t Blame my Wrestlers

Daniel Igali (Sydney 2000)

I am gutted! In sporting climes, I am emotionally in a very low place. I have learnt not to internalize sporting results, but this one beats me.

If I was a betting person, I would have wagered thousands of dollars on at least one of my five female athletes making it out of Rio with a medal. But that was not to be.

Blessing Oborududu lost to Battsetseg Soronzonbold (MGL) 1-1 by criteria and Adekuoroye Odunayo lost to Sofia Mattsson (SWE) by fall.

Blessing Oborududu goes down in Rio

I especially had very high hopes for Aminat, Blessing and Adekuoroye and  for good reason. Apart from the number 1 and 2 top ranked wrestlers in her class, Adekuoroye had competed against all of the top 7 wrestlers only losing to the current Olympic champion Maroulis on criteria 6-6.

Adekuoroye pinned down by world number 2 Mattson

She had been dominant against all others.

At 58kg Aminat Adeniyi had beaten both Malik Sakshi and Amri Marwa eventual Olympic bronze medalists from India and Tunisia.

Blessing Oborududu beat Larionova the current bronze medalist from Azerbaijan 10-0 and had a 1-1 match against Mamachuk the current silver medalist from Belarus just a month ago in Spain.

I had every reason to be optimistic.

But this is the Olympics! It is a competition like no other. A place where you lose your nerves and get exhausted before you even step on the mats, when you lose your first match and people who beat you do not advance to the finals, you are left feeling the way I am feeling.

While there are one or two matches I feel we could have won on a normal day, I don’t blame the wrestlers because I know they did not go out on the mats to lose and are probably in a worse state than I am. They wanted to win more than I did am sure.

We will do a post mortem and carry on with preparations for the future. That is of we are ready to learn and improve as a nation. Many thanks for all of you who have stood by this team and supported us.

My very sincere apologies that we did not meet your expectations. I know you all had high hopes of at least a medal from the female wrestling team. I don’t have any doubt that when we prepare better, compete often and our confidence levels match our abilities, we will sing a new song.

On a happy note, congratulations to Erica Wiebe for winning a gold medal in the 75kg Class. You showed real zeal, a statement of purpose and desire to be Canada’s third Olympic champion in Wrestling. That’s the spirit.

For now though, I may need a few days to recover. I am emotionally and mentally winded.


One thought on “Emotional Igali speaks from Rio; Don’t Blame my Wrestlers

  1. Makinde Olusola

    My lovely and since coach, we all respect your instinct on all the wrestlers especially the ladies. Well, they lost not because they didn’t prepared very well but they were not destined to win Ron. Believe me coach, they are all going to put a beautiful smile on your face. We all love your passion for wrestling and for the country. God bless you sir. #Iamdanieligali#


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