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Oborududu settles for silver as attention shifts to Adekuoroye

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Silver medalist Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu , gold medalist USA’s Tamyra Marianna Stock Mensah , bronze medalist Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova and bronze medalist Kyrgyzstan’s Meerim Zhumanazarova pose after the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. Jack GUEZ / AFP

She will go down in history as one of the best wrestlers, says Igali
Ten-time African champion, Blessing Oborududu, yesterday capped her illustrious campaign at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a silver medal from the 68kg women freestyle wrestling, which took place at the Makuhari Messe Hall, Tokyo.

Oborududu lost 1-4 to the event’s top seed, United States’ Tamyra Mensah Stock, who also doubles as the current World champion. The American overpowered the former Commonwealth Games champion to extend her dominance of the female weight category.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday over her exploits at the Tokyo 2020 Games, Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, said Oborududu would go down in history as one of the best athletes ever produced in the country.

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“I gave Oborududu a chance, and I can tell you that if she had told me she would give me a bronze before the start of the competition, I would have gladly taken it. I am extremely proud of her. Oborududu is a model athlete and I am not saying this because she won a silver medal.

“Even if she had not won a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I would have said the same thing about her. I have known her since 2007 because I groomed her and I can tell you that she has never for one day missed any of her practice. I wouldn’t say that about some other athletes that are under my care.

“She is disciplined, extremely devoted and she is the captain of the women team because she lives a very exemplary life in and out of the mats. What has happened to her couldn’t have happened to any other person due to hard work she had put into it, the dues she had paid,” he said, adding that Oborududu wrestled at the Tokyo 2020 with a serious knee injury.

“She has being wrestling with a very bad knee and I am happy the honourable minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, has promised that the moment we get back to Nigeria he would ensure she goes somewhere for surgery.

“Whether she wrestles again or not, I am extremely proud of her. She has done wonderfully well for herself, family and Nigeria and I wish her the best of luck in whatever future endeavour she elects to have. She will go down in history not only as one of the best wrestling athletes ever produced, but also as one of the best athletes Nigeria has ever produced,” he stated.

Meanwhile, second seed, Odunayo Adekuoroye, will begin her pursuit of a medal at the Olympics today when she takes on Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita in a round of 16 duel in the 57kg weight category. While Ekerekeme Agiomor will clash with India’s Deepak Punia in the 86kg of the men’s freestyle wrestling also today.

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