Nigerian duo Blessing Oborududu and Ese Brume gave their fellow compatriots back home some reasons to cheer as they hope for more medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
This followed a week of bad news for Team Nigeria ranging from the declaration of 10 athletes as ineligible to participate in the games, to the suspension of Olympic medallist, Blessing Okagbare, among others.
Amid the fears of shattered dreams at the Olympics, Oborududu revived the hopes for Nigerians following a brilliant performance in the semi-final of the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling.
Paired with Battsetseg Soronzonbold, the 32-year-old beat her Mongolian opponent on Monday to reach the next round and guarantee Nigeria its first medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
She later went on to face Stock Mensah Tamyra Marianna of the United States of America to jostle for the gold medal in that category in a keenly-watched final.
Oborududu, however, lost 4-1 to the American.
But the defeat was not enough to deter the 10-time African champion from being proud of her achievement after becoming the world’s number two woman wrestler.
She also made history on Tuesday as the first wrestler to win an Olympic medal representing Nigeria at the Olympics.
The Olympian won a silver medal – the second for her country after Brume who made the country proud earlier by winning a bronze medal in the women’s long jump category.
Brume leaped a best jump of 6.97m behind Germany’s Malaika Mihambo and Brittney Reese of the United States of America who claimed the gold and silver medals respectively.
The 25-year-old Nigerian had won bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and later jumped a distance of 7.17m at the Chule Vista Festival in California in May.