Igali excited with wrestlers’ performance in Rome
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, is excited by the performances of Odunayo Adekuoroye and Blessing Oborududu at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament holding in Italy. He said both athletes have amassed some ranking points that will put them in good stead for medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Fighting in the 57kg, Adekuoroye overwhelmed Alina Akobii of Ukraine 12-0, dismissed Arianna Carieri 10-0 via technical superiority, outshined USA’s Allison Ragan 10-3, before dismissing Indian Anshu Anshu 10-0 in another technical superiority to win the gold medal in the final.
On the other hand, Blessing Oborududu, despite losing to world champion, Tamyra Mensah (USA) in one of her matches in the 68kg, fought for bronze medal via repechage by beating Koumba Larroque of France 6-2 and walked over Alina Makhynia of Ukraine to win a bronze medal.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday from Rome, Igali, who took over coaching role of the athletes after team coach, Purity Akuh, couldn’t make the trip, said it was a good news that the country started off the 2020 calendar on a good note.
Akuh was prevented from the trip to Italy, as he was robbed of his international passport among other things on his way to Lagos.
“I am excited by the performances of Adekuoroye and Oborududu. Our hope and desires had been for our athletes to get ranking points. And we achieved this by also winning medals. So, we’ve started off the year very well with Adekuoroye receiving the most ranking points and Oborududu also got some good ranking points.
“The next ranking championship tournament is the Africa championship, and we are hoping that we will be able to get maximum points. I think there are about 18 ranking points at the Africa championship. We will do all we can for the athletes to have the opportunities to be ranked among top four for the Olympics so that we have the best chance of medalling at the Olympics,” he said, adding that apart from the medals won that the other wrestlers did well too.
“Aside the medals we won, our athletes wrestled very well. They wrestled with a lot of composure, gut. Adekuoroye particularly was very good at decision-making. I am very happy that we’ve started off on a right footing and I hope we will keep up this momentum going forward,” Igali stated.
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