Sunday, May 19, 2024

African Wrestling Championships: Nigerians Shine As Oburududu Claims14th Title

Building on their recent success at the African Games in Ghana, Nigerian wrestlers continued their dominance at the African Championships in Cairo, Egypt.

Oborududu claims 14th African title

Blessing Oborududu cemented her place in wrestling history by winning a record-extending 14th African title.

She dominated the 63kg category, defeating home favourite Osman Badran of Egypt by a convincing 12-2 score. This victory comes just one week after Oborududu claimed gold at the ongoing 13th African Games in Ghana.

More titles for Nigerian wrestlers

Returning to the competition after a one-year absence, Odunayo Adekuoroye showcased her talents once again. She pinned Chaimaa Aouissi of Egypt to win her eighth African title and secure valuable ranking points in the 57kg category.

Christianah Ogunsanya continued the winning streak, capitalising on her powerful performance at the African Games by defeating Chahrazed Ayachi of Tunisia 10-0 in the 53kg category to claim the gold medal.

Esther Kolawole also replicated her success at the African Games by defeating Farah Hussein of Egypt 11-0 in the 62kg weight class, securing her second African senior title.

The first day of the championships concluded with mixed results. Military world champion Hannah Reuben fell short in the 76kg category, losing to Tunisian Zainab Sghair 12-2 and settling for a silver medal.

Olympic qualifiers

The focus will soon shift to the Olympic qualifiers, taking place just two days after the completion of the African Championships from 22 to 24 March in Alexandria, Egypt.

Nigeria’s six female and five male wrestlers, who dominated at the African Games, will aim to secure their spots in this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The top two finishers in each of the 18 Olympic weight categories will qualify for the Olympics.

Nigeria has already secured one Olympic berth through Odunayo Adekuoroye.

However, Daniel Igali, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, remains optimistic about the team’s chances at“Our main focus is getting our wrestlers to Alexandria,” Igali acknowledged, highlighting funding limitations. “But if you’re looking at the top federations that can deliver medals for Nigeria at the Olympics, wrestling is definitely one of them.”

With their impressive performances at the African Games and Championships, the Nigerian wrestlers have momentum as they head into the crucial qualifiers.

 the qualifiers

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