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2019 African Wrestling Championship: Nigeria wrestlers know foes on Friday

After arriving and settled down in Tunisia after a long journey from Lagos to Tunis via Istanbul, Turkey, the Nigeria continental to the 2019 African Wrestling Championship will on Friday know their opponents at the continental fiesta.

Commonwealth Games gold medalists – Odunayo Adekuoroye and Blessing Oborududu as well as 14 others will know the hurdles they will face to win medals at the three-day championship.

As the defending champions, Nigeria will be presenting a 10-man female team competing in all weight categories while five will compete in the freestyle event and one wrestler slug it out in the Greco roman event.

Already, the cadet and junior events entered final day today with Nigeria conspicuously absent in the events.

Adekuoroye as the number one ranked African wrestler in the 57kg will be aiming to defend her title against the star-studded North African teams from Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and host – Tunisia.

Explaining the importance of the tournament, Coach Purity Akuh told NationSport before the team’s departure on Wednesday that any team or athlete that fails to compete at the continental championship would not be eligible to feature at this year’s World Championship holding in Sofia, Bulgaria.

“It is important we attend this tournament because it is the pre-requisite to present team for the World Championship. The United World Wrestling (UWW) have realized that some teams hardly attend continental championship and they are always eager to feature in the world championship and that is why they now decided that any team that fails to attend continental competition will not be eligible to be part of the world championship. Apart from this, the tournament would afford our wrestlers to garner the needed points that will give them automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Points amassed from this tournament will indeed aid their ranking in the world as only the top six wrestlers in each weight category get automatic qualification for the Olympic Games,” Akuh said.

Like Adekuroroye, Oborududu will be aiming for her ninth god medal at the continental showpiece in the 68kg of the women’s freestyle.

The team will be coached by the duo of Akuh and Victor Kodei, while the NWF President, Daniel Igali led the contingent to the North African nation.

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