Wrestling: Adekouroye, Oborududu, 3 Others Storm Rome For Ranking Series Tournament
Reigning world bronze medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) and Commonwealth champion Blessing Oborududu (68kg), will be joined by three other elite female wrestlers to the 2020 Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in the Italian city of Rome.
The others are multiple African and Commonwealth champion Aminat Adeniyi (62kg), as well as Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg) and Mercy Genesis (50kg), who both won gold and silver medals respectively at the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar last year.
The wrestlers, along with head coach of the female national team Purity Akuh, will depart the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos on Tuesday, 14th January aboard an Egypt Air flight ahead of the tournament which runs from 15th to 18th January.
In Rome, the five wrestlers – all gold medalists at the 12th African Games in Morocco – will be contesting for crucial ranking points which will boost their seeding at the 2020 Olympics in Japan later this year.
The tournament is also expected to put the wrestlers in good shape prior to the 2020 African Championships in Algeria early next month and the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier in El Jadida, Morocco, which will take place in March.
Former world No. 1 Adekuoroye is the only Nigerian wrestler to have secured a berth at the Tokyo Games, with Oborududu missing out by whiskers at the 2019 World Championships in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.
However, the Nigeria Wrestling Federation is hopeful that more seven athletes will join her to Tokyo when the Olympic qualifier gets underway in Morocco.
The contingent are expected back in the country immediately after the tournament, and will commence intensive camping ahead of the 2020 African Championships in Algiers slated for 4th to 9th February.