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Tokyo 2021: Oborududu Becomes First Nigerian To Reach Wrestling Final


Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu has booked her place in the final of the women’s wrestling event at the ongoing Tokyo 2021 Olympics in Japan.

Oborududu defeated Battsetseg Soronzobold of Mongolia 7-2 to reach the final of the 68kg gold medal contest on Monday.

She will now face Americans Tamyra Mensah-Stock in the final.

Mensah-Stock had defeated Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova in the other semi-final.


With this feat, 32-year-old Oborududu is now guaranteed a Gold or Silver for Nigeria’s first ever medal in wrestling at an Olympic Games.

It should be noted that, Oborududu defeated Azerbaijan’s Elis Manolova and  Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan to advance to her first Olympic semifinals.


The 10-time African champion Oborududu 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.


On her way to the final, Blessing 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.



Blessing 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 around 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.

Blessing Oborududu has won a Gold medal at the African Wrestling Championships every year for the last 11 years, except for 2012 when she did not enter due to competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics.


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