Nigeria wrestling team has continued to show its prowess in the sport as they delivered 14 medals and earned top ranking positions in various categories in the just concluded African Championship in Algiers, Algeria.
At a two-day event which began on Saturday, the Nigerian female team amassed 230 points to emerge champions of the continent for the ninth time.
A total of six gold medals and four silver enabled the female side to achieve the feat.
Blessing Oborududu’s 10-0 victory against Rihem Ayari of Tunisia saw her clinch the gold in 68kg category for her 10th African title and propelled her to the number two spot in the world, surpassing Jenny Fransson of Sweden.
As expected, Odunayo Adekuoroye won her sixth consecutive African crown and overthrew Risako Kawai of Japan at the world’s top spot in 57kg.
Adekuoroye started the year ranked third in the world in the 57kg category.
A gold-medal finish at the Matteo Pellicone, Italy in January saw her displace then-second ranked Ningning Ring of China.
The 25-year-old brought 43 points and a second ranking to Algeria.
She used her 18-point gold medal to move one point ahead of Kawai, the reigning three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic champion.
Other female wrestlers who made a podium finish with gold medal include Mercy Genesis (50kg), Esther Kolawole (55kg), Bisola Makunjuola (59kg) and Hannah Reuben (65kg).
Silver medals were awarded to Bose Samuel (53kg), Aminat Adeniyi (62kg), Sunmisola Balogun (72kg) and
Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg).
The men’s category was also impressive. Ogbonna John recorded a fourth consecutive continental gold in 74kg, culminating to his fourth African championship title.
John’s victory against Algeria’s Ishak Boukhors helped him gain 20 points which were vital to his ride to the World number 7 spot.
Meanwhile, Amas Daniel (65kg) will continue his search for a 6th African title after losing 4-2 to 2019 champion Mbunde Mbali of Guinea Bissau to settle for silver.
Former champions Ekerekeme Agiomor (86kg) and Soso Tamarau (97kg) both won bronze medals.
Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development praised the team’s performance at the event as Nigerians are hopeful of better performances as the team prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.