African Games champion, John Emmanuel believes his mission in Kazakhstan is to return with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket as he makes his second appearance at the United World Wrestling (UWW)-organised World Championship.
Wrestlers from 100 countries including Nigeria will converge in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from September 14 to 22, for medals, but importantly the tickets to next year’s Olympic Games in Japan.
The three-time African champion is unfazed about the seeding list saying, “Seeding does not win fight and when we get into the ring, we will test our might.
“I am heading to Kazakhstan to pick the Olympic ticket as I cannot afford to miss out from the 2020 Games. There is no doubt that the World Championship is where every athlete wants to compete and in this my second outing, I want to make it count.
I finished 19th at my maiden outing in 2017 because of inexperience but this time, I am in top shape having just returned from the 2019 African Games in Morocco. I am just going there with a mission of picking the Olympic ticket.”
The first batch of Team Nigeria contingent made up of the five female wrestlers and Coach Purity Akuh is expected to depart Nigeria tomorrow aboard a Turkish Airline.
The female team is led by silver medalist at the 2018 edition, Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) as well as nine-time African champion, Blessing Oborududu (68kg). Others are Aminat Adeniyi (57kg), Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg) and Mercy Genesis (50kg). The second batch will depart on September 16.
The top six athletes in each weight category will qualify automatically for the Olympic Games.