AUGUST 26, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jnr.
President of the Sierra Leone Wrestling Association (SLWA), Prince Sualley, is confident his two wrestlers will compete and achieve success in the forthcoming World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The participation of West African wrestlers in the championships has been put in doubt following the Ebola outbreak in the region, but the SLWA president believes the current health scare will not stop their participation.
“Two of my wrestlers are healthy and undergoing training session daily. Already we have placed them in camp to avoid any extra contact and before our departure, we are also going to do health check,” Sualley said.
Already the international wrestling federation, FILA has called on Uzbekistan to allow the athletes from Ebola-hit countries (Nigeria and Sierra Leone) to compete at next month’s world championships.
“Wrestling’s international ruling body has sent a letter to the country’s Ministry of Public Health asking it to allow the athletes from the Ebola-hit countries to participate in the championships at Tashkent,” the Interfax agency quoted an anonymous ministry representative.
It is understood that seven wrestlers from Nigeria and two athletes from Sierra Leone have indicated their desire to compete at the championships which will run from September 8-14.
The health department official said that Uzbekistan is taking all possible measures to prevent the penetration of the deadly Ebola virus into the country.
Uzbekistan has requested more information about the athletes’ nations to make a decision on their admission to the championships. A representative of the Uzbekistan sanitary authority told RIA Novosti on Tuesday: “We have requested additional information from the teams’ delegations to have a full view. Now we have received part of the data and are examining it,” the representative said.