No one saw this coming, at least Nigerian supporters. If there was to be a bet, it would have been very tough seeing who could have correctly predicted the early elimination of Odunayo Adekuoroye from the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Returning to the Olympics after her first round disappointment at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Adekuoroye left nothing to chance and dominated from the outset of the match and well into the 2nd period, storming into an 8-0 lead over Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita in the quarterfinals of the women’s freestyle 57kg.

Odunayo Adekuoroye pinned down by Anastasia Nichita

With just few minutes left on the clock and still by far the superior athlete on the mat, all Odunayo needed to do was defend the lead whilst the clock was fast running out, but it was Nichita who pulled off one of the most memorable victories on the night. Nichita somehow got on the board with 2 points before surprisingly taking advantage of the unguarded Adekuoroye, slamming her onto the mat in a pin-fall and snatching the win. A defeat that still reverberates across the mammoth Nigerian fanbase who were rooting for her.

Meanwhile, the only male wrestler to have made it to Tokyo, Ekerekeme Agiomor lost by superiority 1-12 to Deepak Punia of India in his first bout in the men’s Men’s freestyle 86kg.

After the Silver medal won by Blessing Oborududu the previous day, team Nigeria now has only one wrestler left in the event, young Adijat Idris who will make her Olympic debut in the semifinals of women’s Freestyle 50kg on Friday.

In other Team Nigeria action same day, Ayomide Bello didn’t progress to the semifinals of the women’s singles 200m in Canoe sprints after finishing 3rd place with a time of 47.326s in the quarterfinals stage, just below the two automatic qualification spots to the semifinals.

Latifat Adebayo (@phatill) is a Digital Sports Journalist, a content creator and social media enthusiast.


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