Blessing Oborodudu yesterday entered the record books as the first Nigerian to win a wrestling medal at the Olympics, following a silver medal performance at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The 10-time African champion settled for silver after losing 4-1 to American world champion, Tamyra Mensah Stock in the final of the 68kg weight class in an explosive contest that can easily pass for a classic.
Ukrainian Alla Cherkasova and Meerim Zhumanazarova – who like Oborodudu, became the first wrestler from Kyrgyzstan to win an Olympics medal – both won bronze.
Oborodudu went into Tuesday’s final at Makuhari Messe Hall as the underdog against the world champion Mensah Stock, who defeated her 6-1 in their last meeting at the 2019 World Championships in Kazakhstan. However, the Commonwealth champion was unfazed by the impressive credential of her opponent throughout the all-action finale.
With both wrestlers approaching the contest offensively, Mensah Stock got on the scoresheet first, with a take down for 2 points, while Oborodudu pulled one point back, when she pushed the
American off the red circle. However, another 2-point score by the 28-year-old handed her a 4-1 lead at the end of the first round.
Both wrestlers failed to score further points in the second round, as Oborodudu sealed her place in history with a silver medal.