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Adekuoroye Reigns Supreme In Rome

Nigeria Names Strong Squad for 2020 African Wrestling Championships

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has announced a strong team of 15 athletes that will fly the country’s flag at the 2020 African Wrestling Championships in Algiers, Algeria, from 3rd to 9th February.

Wrestling sensation and 2-time Commonwealth champion Odunayo Adekuoroye reigned supreme in Rome at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament, claiming gold in a very dominant fashion in the final of the 57kg class, while Blessing Oborududu (68kg) settled for bronze at the event.

After convincingly taking out her opponents in the earlier rounds, Adekuoroye demolished Indian Anshu Anshu 10-0 via technical superiority in the final to land gold.

On her way to the final, the former world No. 1 impressively overcame Alina Akobii of Ukraine 12-0, before recording a 10-0 victory via technical superiority over home girl Arianna Carieri in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, she outclassed USA’s Allison Ragan 10-3 to advance to the gold medal match.

Despite losing to world champion Tamyra Mensah (USA) in her match, Oborududu fought for bronze via repechage, as her American conqueror reached the final.

In the repechage, the Commonwealth champion beat Koumba Larroque of France 6-2, before walking over Alina Makhynia of Ukraine to eventually settle for a bronze medal.

For Aminat Adeniyi in the 62kg, she defeated Italians Sara Da Col 8-4 in the qualification round and Elena Esposito 10-0 via superiority in the round of 16, before going down 8-2 to American Kayla Miracle in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, world champion in beach wrestling Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg) could not compete as a result of ill-health.

World No. 3 Adekuoroye and Oborududu, who is ranked No. 7 prior to the tournament in Rome, are expected to move up in the rankings as a result of their impressive showing.

Multiple African champion Mercy Genesis (50kg) will be in action on Friday.

Team Nigeria’s performance in Rome will surely come as a cheering news to female head coach Purity Akuh, who could not travel with the wrestlers, as he was robbed of his belongings including his international passport on his way to Lagos for the trip.

In his place, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation Hon. Daniel Igali, a certified coaches educator, stepped in, and has been working as their coach at the tournament.

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