June 27, 2022

Oborodudu a result of 10 years meticulous training, says Igali

Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu reacts after winning against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold in their women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling semi-final match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on August 2, 2021. (Photo by Jack GUEZ / AFP)

Nigeria Wrestling Federation President, Daniel Igali, has revealed that the successes recorded so far at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics by Nigerian wrestler, Blessing Oborodudu, are a result of 10 years of careful planning.

The former Olympics gold medallist, who revealed yesterday that he discovered the 68kg wrestler from her school’s inter-house sports, described Oborodudu as one of the most disciplined athletes he has worked with, adding that her semifinal victory was not a fluke.

According to Igali: “The results we are beginning to see at the Olympic level is about a decade of preparations coming to fruition.

“If anyone deserves to win a medal here, Blessing Oborududu does. By far one of the best-disciplined athletes I have ever groomed… I discovered her at their inter-house sports competition. She lost in the finals, but I saw traits that I felt we could fine-tune.

“The rest is now history. It’s been over a decade of near misses. I am so happy for her, the coaches, and the team.”

Igali revealed that Oborodudu and her team were looking beyond the silver medal that guaranteed the wrestler by her semifinal victory yesterday, saying, “While that in itself is a tremendous achievement, we are going for the big prize. Now let’s go win an Olympic gold medal tomorrow.”

The former world champion revealed that Oborodudu’s camp is doing everything possible to ensure the wrestler is not distracted from the task ahead. “I asked her to shut her phone off before she went to bed today. People were calling left, right and centre. We have won nothing yet until the final whistle blows.”

Oborodudu defeated London 2012 bronze medallist, Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia, 7-2, in the semifinal of the women 68kg freestyle to qualify for today’s final, where she will face the top seed, Tamyra Stock Mensah of the United States in the gold medal fight.

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