Harcourt world silver medalist, Odunayo Adekuoroye, Africa’s champions, Aminat Adeniyi and Bisola Makanjuola, as well as Hannah Rueben won gold medals to brighten Team Nigeria’s chances of winning the African Wrestling Championship, which ended at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt yesterday.
Adekuoroye, fighting in the 57 kg, caged Cameroun’s Essombe Tiako Joseph 11-0, while Adeniyi (62kg) subdued Tunisia’s Lilia Mejri 10-0, just as Makanjuola defeated Egypt’s Eman Essam Guda Ebrahim 10-0 in the 59kg weight category. Rueben gave no breathing space to Kenya’s Emily Friday Karimi Mbogo in 10 -0 outcome.
At the start of the senior cadre of the championship, Team Nigeria picked four gold, four silver and a bronze medals in the men’s senior freestyle cadre to put it on top of the table on points.
Earlier, Olympian Amos Daniel put away the disappointment of Soso Tamarau to record a win over Tunisia’s Haithem Dakhlaoui 7-2 in the 65 kg to secure a gold medal. Tamarau had lost to South Africa’s Martin Erastus in a pinfall decision after the result had stood at 1-1, while Ogbonna Emmanuel John fighting in the 70kg weight category had a narrow 2-2 split decision over his tough opponent, Egypt’s Amr Reda Ramadan Hussein.
Old war horse, Melvin Bibo contesting in the 86kg gave the fans something to cheer about, as he overpowered South Africa’s Jakobus Janse Van Rensburg 10-0 to cart home the gold medal, while Ekerekeme Agiomor (79kg) defeated South Africa’s Fredylan George Marais whom he gave no space with an overwhelming 11-0 result to the delight of the cheering fans.
However, veteran Sinivie Boltic lost 1-2 to Egypt’s Khaled Omr Zaki Mohamed Abdalla to the disappointment of the fans to settle for the bronze medal, while Firstman Victor (61kg) beat South Africa’s Gert Cornelius Johannes Coetzee 7-5 in the fight for the bronze medal.
Speaking to The Guardian, John attributed his narrow win to God, promising not to let the nation down at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“I am very happy and excited over the victory and the gold medal that I won. This is a back to back victory for me at the African championship. The match was close, but I want to say that God did it for me, as naturally it was not by my power. I assure the country that I will well at the Commonwealth Games by the grace of God,” he said.