Nigeria Wrestling quartet seal Tokyo Olympics qualification
Four Nigerian wrestling stars in Blessing Oborududu, Aminat Adeniyi, Adijat Idris and Ekerekeme Agiomor have booked their Tokyo 2020 Olympics ticket with dominant performances at the United World Wrestling (UWW) Africa/Oceania qualifying tournament ongoing in Tunisia.
Before the competition which got underway on Friday in Hammamet, world no. 2 in the women’s 57kg category Odunayo Adekuoroye was the only Nigerian wrestler who was confirmed for the Olympic Games. Adekuoroye qualified after picking Bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championship in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Now, the country will have at least five wrestlers fighting for glory in the Japan capital when the big sports fiesta commences.
Oborududu clinched Gold in the women’s 68kg category after defeating Egypt’s Enas Ahmed in the final on Saturday just after Adeniyi had earlier also sealed her Olympics spot with a Silver-winning performance in the women’s 62kg category, losing to Marwa Amri from the host nation.
Idris narrowly lost to Tunisia’s Sarra Hamdi in the final of the women’s 50kg category, but settled for a Silver medal and an Olympics ticket.
However, Bose Samuel – another female Nigerian competitor – failed to pick a qualification ticket despite picking Bronze in the women’s 53kg category as only finalists earn automatic qualification.
On Sunday when it was the turn for men, Ekerekeme Agiomor outclassed every opponent on his way to the final where be piped Algeria’s Fateh Benferdjallah 7-6 in the 86kg category to pick Gold as well as an automatic qualification ticket to the Olympics.
The other four male Nigerian wrestlers who competed on the day could however not secure qualification with Ogbonna John who closest picking Bronze in the 74kg for his efforts.
The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021.