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Tokyo Olympics: Oborududu Wins Silver In Women Wrestling

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated August 3, 2021
Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu reacts after winning against Mongolia's Battsetseg Soronzonbold in their women's freestyle 68kg wrestling semi-final match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 2, 2021. Jack GUEZ / AFP
Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu reacts after winning against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold in their women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling semi-final match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 2, 2021. Jack GUEZ / AFP

 

Team Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu on Tuesday won a silver medal in the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling category.

She had guaranteed Nigeria a medal on Monday after beating Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold to reach the final.

Although she lost the final to American world champion Stock Mensah Tamyra Marianna 4-1, the 32-year-old can be proud of her achievement after earning Nigeria’s second medal at the Tokyo games.

Earlier in the day, Ese Brume had made the country proud by winning bronze in long jump.

Meanwhile, second-seed Odunayo Adekuoroye will begin her quest for an Olympic medal in the 57kg weight category on Wednesday.

The three-time World championship medallist Adekuoroye will be up against Anastasia Nichita of Moldova in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Aminat Adeniyi lost 4-2 via pinfall to Ukraine’s Iryna Koliadenko, despite leading 4-0 in their round of 16 bout.

The Commonwealth champion, Adeniyi, was hoping for Koliadenko to reach the final, so she could via for a bronze medal through the repechage.

But it was not to be as Koliadenko was stopped in the semi-final by Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan, who won 10-0 via technical superiority.

History maker

Oborududu, who began wrestling at St Jude’s Girls Secondary School in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, had been aiming to clinch gold in Tokyo.

But Mensah proved too strong.

Still, she emerged as Nigeria’s first ever Olympics medalist in wrestling.

USA's Tamyra Marianna Stock Mensah (red) wrestles Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu in their women's freestyle 68kg wrestling final match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. Jack GUEZ / AFP
USA’s Tamyra Marianna Stock Mensah (red) wrestles Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu in their women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling final match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. Jack GUEZ / AFP

 

On her way to the final, Oborududu made light work of Elis Manolova in the round of 16, thrashing the Azerbaijani 13-2 via technical superiority, before securing a hard-fought 3-2 win against Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals.

After a cagey opening moment in her semi-final bout against the 2015 World champion Soronzonbold, the energetic Oborududu burst into action, taking down the 31-year-old Mongolian thrice to eventually win the first round 7-0.

A late fight back saw Soronzonbold score two points, but Oborududu was never going to be denied a place in history as she ran out with a comfortable 7-2 win.