COMMONWEALTH Champion Blessing Oborududu (68kg) has moved up to a career-high number three in the latest world rankings released by the United World Wrestling.
This is contained in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday by Emeka Dennar, Media Officer of Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF).
The statement said Oborududu climbed up the ranking following her impressive outing at the recently concluded Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in Rome, Italy, where she won a bronze medal.
It said thatO bourududu (30pts) jumped four places from 7th in the previous ranking to her best-ever 3rd position, behind top ranked American and world champion Tamyra Mensah (74pts) and second-placed Anna Fransson (40pts) of Sweden.
“Similarly, Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) reclaimed her second position in the global ranking, after winning gold at the tournament in Rome.
“She had 43pts in second place behind Japanese world number one, Risako Kawai with 60pts; but world bronze medalist was rated number three prior to the tournament.
“In third place is former world champion Ningning Rong of China, who has 40pts,” the statement said.
According to the statement, President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali who served as their coach in Rome, said participating at the ranking series tournament in Italy has yielded the expected results.
“The main aim of going to the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament was to improve our rankings at the world and have our athletes highly seeded at the top 4 in the Olympics.
“Last year Adekuoroye was number two but slightly dropped three, now she is back to two, while Oborududu was number four, dropped to number 7, now she’s back to number three.
“Third position is Oborududu’s best ranking so far; so, everything has gone according to plan,” the statement added.
It disclosed that the African Championships, a ranking tournament that carried about 18 points for gold was slated for February 2020.
“So, if Adekuoroye and Oborududu both win there, they can’t do worse than number two in the rankings, it could even get higher.
“Their current ranking, if maintained, is expected to fetch the wrestlers favourable draws at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, later this year,” it added.
It said though, former world number one, Adekuoroye was the only Nigerian wrestler that had qualified for the 2020 Olympics following her bronze-winning performance at the 2019 World Championships in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.
“Oborududu and other wrestlers are expected to also qualify for Tokyo, with the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifiers set for El Jadida, Morocco, in March,” the statement said. (NAN)
– Jan. 22, 2020 @ 16:09 GMT |