Oborududu blesses Nigeria with historic final in Tokyo

Commonwealth champion Blessing Oborududu on Monday made history as the first Nigerian to reach the final of a wrestling event at the Olympics, after recording an impressive 7-2 victory against 2012 bronze medallist Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia in a semi-final clash.

Extrasportsnigeria.com reports that Oborududu, a 10-time African champion will face top seed Tamyra Stock Mensah in Tuesday’s final, after the American World champion overpowered Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova 10-4 in the first semi-final.

The 32-year-old Oborodudu has blessed Nigeria with a silver medal, at least – the first wrestling medal in the country’s history at the Olympics.

On her way 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 hard-fought 3-2 win against Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals.

After a cagey opening moment in her semi-final bout against the 2015 World champion Soronzonbold, the energetic Oborududu burst into action, taking down the 31-year-old Mongolian thrice to eventually win the first round 7-0.

A late fight back saw Soronzonbold score two points, but Oborududu was never going to be denied a place in history as she ran out with a comfortable 7-2 win.

The 2nd seed Oborududu will renew her rivalry with old foe  Mensah, as they battle for the ultimate prize – gold medal, with the pair expected to get on the mat about 11.15am Nigerian time.

They last met at the 2019 World championships in Kazakhstan, with the American getting the better of Oborududu on her way to the title.

Soon after the fight, the sports minister, Sunday Dare described Blessing Oborodudu’s feat as a blessing to Nigeria.

Dare said: “You are a Blessing to Nigeria and Nigeria’s sports family. Team Nigeria is proud of you. Nigerians are proud of you.

“This display is typical of the never say die Nigerian spirit. Keep the tempo until we reach the ultimate which is the gold.”