Blessing Oborududu won Olympic Games’ silver medal in the women’s freestyle 68kg, the first won by a Nigerian wrestler in history. The 32-year-old won the Tokyo 2020 silver medal on Tuesday in her third appearance at the Olympics since 2012 in London.
The Federal Government yesterday tripled the prized money promised Team Nigeria athletes with Blessing Oborududu, winner of the country’s first wrestling silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to receive $10,000 (about N5million).
Oborududu lost her bid to win the women’s wrestling freestyle 68kg category gold medal yesterday following her 4-1 defeat by USA’s Tamyra Mensah Stock in an epic final.
The Nigerian wrestler Blessing Oborududu who competed with an injured knee has entered into the country’s Olympic history as the first to win any wrestling medal at the Games.
Earlier on Monday, Oborududu made history as the first Nigerian to reach the final of a wrestling event at the Olympics, after recording an impressive 7-2 victory against 2012 bronze medallist Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia in the last four clash.
The 10-time African champion Oborududu then set up an epic clash with top seed Mensah Stock in Tuesday’s epic final.
Oborududu made light work of Elis Manolova in the round of 16, thrashing the Azerbaijani 13-2 via technical superiority, before securing a hard-fought 3-2 win against Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals.
President of the Nigerian Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali who is an Olympic gold medalist for Canada at Sydney 2000, described Oborududu’s feat as reward for hard work spanning a period of ten years.
Also yesterday, Ese Brume who won Nigeria’s first track & field medal at Tokyo 2020 is to receive $7500 (about N3.75million) for placing third in the women’s long jump.
The African Record holder Brume became the winner of Nigeria’s first athletics medal since 2008, taking bronze with her best leap of 6.97m in a highly competitive final at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
Brume finished third behind Germany’s Malaika Mihambo and USA’s Brittney Reese.
Speaking on the triple bonuses for Oborududu and Brume, Director, Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr Simon Ebhojaiye, said the gesture was in appreciation of the impressive and historic performances put up by the athletes.
“The gesture is to drive home the point that the Federal Government rewards superlative efforts,” said the Director who praised the athletes for their massive exploits in Tokyo.
“Gold medallists will now be rewarded with $15,000 while silver and bronze medal winners will each get $10,000 and S7,500 respectively. The earlier bonus award promised the athletes were $5,000 for gold, $3,000 for silver and $2,000 for bronze,” he concluded.