Nigerian wrestler, Odunayo Adekuroye, on Friday, reignited Nigeria’s medal hopes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after beating some of the world’s best wrestlers to win a gold medal at the ongoing United World Wrestling Poland Ranking Series in Warsaw.
Adekuoroye edged Iryna Kurachkina in the 57kg freestyle final to claim gold, after the Belarusian forfeited the bout due to an injury suffered in her semi-final win.
The 27-year-old’s road to the coveted gold medal saw her beat 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist, Helen Maroulis, 13-0 in the quarter-final of the ranking series. The win over the American comes as a relief for Adekuoroye who had lost to Maroulis in her last two meetings since 2018.
The Nigerian displayed her ruthless intention in the competition, defeating Rio 2016 silver medalist, Russia’s Valeria Koblova 10-0 in the semi-final to set up a repeat of the 2017 World Championships bronze medal bout against Kurachkina.
Adekuoroye’s performance against America’s Maroulis is ranked as one of the performances of the tournament after she tossed the Olympic champion twice on the mat.
The case was, however, not the same for Adekuoroye’s compatriot, Blessing Oborodudu, in the 68 kg freestyle category as she suffered a 3-0 loss to France’s Koumba Larroque in the final to settle for a silver medal.