Sports

Injured Oborududu settles for historic silver

…says Dare, Igali inspired her
Minister to pay for surgery

Unknown to millions who watched Blessing Oborududu wrestle her way to win silver medal in the 68kg freestyle category of the women wrestling event at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, she actually defiled a nagging knee injury to become the first Nigerian to win medal in the sport.

Making the final in the women’s 68kg freestyle, Oborududu already created a history, however, her quest of winning the gold was thwarted by USA’s Tamyra Mensah-Stock as she succumbed to a 4-1 defeat. Mensah-Stock had dominated the 68kg event since proceedings begun on August 2, outscoring her four opponents by a combined tally of 34-5 – one of those opponents was Rio 2016 gold medallist Dosho Sara. It’s just the second time a woman from the United States has won gold at the Olympic Games after Helen Louise Maroulis won the 53kg at Rio 2016.

To get to the final, Obourududu made light work of Elis Manolova in the round of 16, thrashing the Azerbaijani 13-2 via technical superiority, before securing a hardfought 3-2 win against Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals. In the semis, she recorded an impressive 7-2 victory against 2012 bronze medallist Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia. However, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Nigerian Wrestling Federation, Dr. Daniel Igali, said; “She did her best. We have been treating that tender knee all through the tournament. Surprised she was able to take a full double attack.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has assured that the knee will be fixed in any country of her choice when she gets back to Nigeria and settles down. “Coming here to Tokyo, I would have gladly taken a bronze from Blessing. This is a precious record breaking silver. I’m so proud of her.”

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