Okorodudu, Adeniyi, Idris seal Tokyo Olympics Wrestling tickets
Nigeria trio of Blessing Oborodudu, Aminat Adeniyi, and Adijat Idris have qualified for the wrestling event of Tokyo 2020 Olympics which will hold this year in Japan.
Their participation at the Olympics was confirmed at the United World Wrestling (UWW) Wrestle Hammamet Tokyo Qualification round in Tunisia on Saturday.
Coming into the weekend, 2019 world bronze medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye was the lone Nigerian woman to qualify her nation for the Olympic Games. But Nigeria will have at least four women competing in Tokyo after Blessing Oborodus’s 68kg gold medal and silver-medal finishes from Idris and Aminat Adeniyi at 50kg and 62kg, respectively.
For the second time in as many days, the host nation of the African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier earned four Olympic berths.
On Saturday, Rio Olympic bronze medalist Marwa Amri (Tunisia) assisted her country in winning three gold medals and a silver and grabbed the team title 45 points ahead of second-place Nigeria, who earned three women’s wrestling Olympic berths on the day.
Sarra Hamdi (Tunisia), Siwar Bouseta (Tunisia), and Marwa Amri (Tunisia) won gold at 50kg, 57kg, and 62kg, while Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia) won silver at 76kg.
Bouseta’s gold came in the traditional 57kg bracket, while Hamdi and Amri won Nordic style bracket gold medals. The two-time African medalist breezed to the semifinal and final wins over Eman Ebrahim (Egypt) and Fatoumata Yarie Camara (Guinea). In the semifinals, Bouseta controlled the match whistle-to-whistle with a two-on-one, scored two takedowns, two exposures, and a reversal, and cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Egyptian. Then, in the finals, the long and lengthy Tunisian capitalized on her Guinean opponent’s mistakes with eight counter-offensive points and eased her way to a 57kg gold with a 9-3 victory.
Hamdi and Adijat Idris (NGR) came into their fourth-round matches with 3-0 records, but the Tunisian took the 50kg gold with a narrow 2-1 victory.
Amri, the most decorated African women’s wrestler ever, punched her fourth ticket to the Olympic Games with three wins on the day. She’ll now head to Tokyo looking to improve on her bronze-medal finish from the Rio Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s Joseph Essombe Tiako stole the show on Saturday night en route to winning the 53kg gold medal. The now-two-time Olympian obliterated her three competitors – scoring back-to-back falls over Bose Samuel (Nigeria) and Lamia Chemlal (Algeria) before capturing the 53kg crown with a 53-second technical superiority win over Rckaela Aquino (Guam) in the finals.
Despite falling to Essombe Tiako in the gold-medal match, Aquino scored five first-period takedowns against Siwar Louati Ben Ali (Tunisia) in their semifinal meeting and booked Guam a ticket to the Olympic Games at 53kg. She joined Maria Dunn (Guam) as the only women’s wrestlers from Guam to ever earn an Olympic berth.
The final pair of women’s wrestling Olympic berths went to Egpytian wrestlers Enas Ahmed (Egypt) and Samar Hamza (Egypt). Hamza, who competed at the Rio Olympics, won gold at 76kg with a pair of wins, and Ahmed finished in second place at 68kg after falling to eventual champion Oborududu in the opening round.
The final day of wrestling at the African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier starts on Sunday at 11:00 am (local time).