National Sports Festival: Team Ondo dominates women’s wrestling


Team Ondo won four of the 10 gold medals available in Women’s Wrestling at the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja, following the conclusion of Day 2 of action at the Velodrome.

Commonwealth champions – Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) and Aminat Adeniyi (62kg), African champion Sunmisola Balogun (65kg) and Esther Kolawole (55kg) accounted for the gold medals, with Patience Kakanda (Bayelsa), Tiebri Precious (Bayelsa), Biogos Ebi (Bayelsa) and Rita Driver (Cross River) all settling for silver.

In the 50kg class, Team Bayelsa’s Mercy Genesis won gold at the expense of Team Kogi’s Idris Kadijat.

The reigning African champion wasted no time in dispatching her unfancied opponent 11-0 via technical superiority.

After upsetting African champion Bose Samuel (Ondo) in the earlier round, Team Anambra’s Rosemary Nweke eventually won gold following 2-2 (last point won) score against Mercy Bassey of Cross River, while Ifeoma Nwoye (Anambra) won a keenly contested battle of African Champions with Bisola Makunjuola (Ondo) 5-2 to claim a deserved gold medal.

Elsewhere, eight-time African champion and Commonwealth gold medallist, Blessing Oborududu (Bayelsa), strolled to gold, after making light work of her opponents in four round-robin matches in the 68kg weight class.

In the 72kg, Hannah Reuben of the Nigeria Army (Lagos) overcame fellow soldier, Winnie Gofit (Delta) to claim the gold medal at stake in the final, while Commonwealth silver medallist Blessing Onyebuchi (Edo) beat Rhoda Shonde (Rivers) to claim gold in the 76kg category.

In the Greco Roman event earlier on Thursday, Team Delta almost made it a clean sweep of gold, winning four of the six available.

Nwalue Dominic (55kg), Pakistan Alfred (63kg), Nworie Emmanuel (72kg) and Okeke Okeke (77kg) are the gold medallists for Team Delta, while Onia Dick (Rivers) and Idowu Ladoja (Ondo) won gold in the 60kg and 87kg categories, respectively.

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