Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, has described Bayelsa State as the wrestling hub of Nigeria.
He made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the maiden edition of governor Douye Diri National wrestling classics held at the Samson Siasia sports complex, Yenagoa, the State capital.
He commended Gov.Diri for sponsoring the maiden edition of the tournament, and that his commitment to Sports development is evidence in the performances of Bayelsa athletes in National and international competitions.
” Let me appreciate the commitment of his Excellency, Gov. Diri of Bayelsa State for Sports development in the state and also in Nigeria, especially his investment in wrestling and hosting of the first edition of N ational wrestling classics.
“ The first Olympic medal in wrestling in the history of Nigeria is from Bayelsa. Even then, I had no doubts in mind that Bayelsa would continue to remain the capital of wrestling in Nigeria and today’s event is a testimony to that.
“ I thank the governor of Bayelsa for his love in wrestling in the state and in Nigeria. He followed in the footsteps of his predecessors.”
He said, the wrestling glory of Nigeria is planted solely in Bayelsa State, adding that with 28 states and 16 clubs, military and para military participated in the maiden edition of wrestling classics was a success.
He thanked all States, clubs and athletes that took part in the tournament, stressing that it will boost their morales in preparation towards the forth coming African Championships this year.
He also commended the State commissioner of Youths and sports development who double as the president of Nigeria wrestlers federation for his tireless efforts in Sports development in the country.
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali thanked the Federal government and the Minister for the assistance given to the body to organize major national competitions and participate in international events.
He stated that the National Wrestling Classics which has been held in Bayelsa State since 2019 is a veritable platform to prepare Team Nigeria’s Wrestlers for podium performance at the African Senior Championships.
The commissioner, Igali commended the State Governor Diri for creating the enabling environment and his support for Sports development in the State.
Igali said, .Diri wrestling classics in Yenagoa, was in preparation of wrestlers in the forth coming African Wrestling Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The records table of the event after 4 days of competition, saw Ondo State emerged winners in women freestyle events clinching 5 golds, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals ,while Bayelsa took second with 3 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze medals, as Nigeria Army finished 3;with 1 gold, and 2 bronze medals.
Bayelsa were crowned champions in the Free style category with 4 golds, 3 silver medals, Delta were second with 3 golds and 2 bronze medals while Dynamite club emerged 3 with 1 golds.
Graceo Roman Wrestling was won by Delta State with 4 gold medals, Bayelsa were second with2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps settled for 3 place in the event.