Ekerekeme Agiomor will be the only Nigerian male wrestler at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, after he impressively secured qualification to the global multi-sport showpiece on the final day of competition at the Africa/Oceania Olympic Qualifiers in Hammamet, Tunisia.
Wrestling in the 86kg Freestyle event, the 2018 African champion produced three big wins on Sunday to seal a first-ever Olympic berth. In his opening quarter-final bout, Agiomor brushed aside home favourite Maher Ghanmi of Tunisia 12-7, before storming to a convincing 12-2 win against Australia’s Jayden Lawrence in the last four, and secured his place at the Tokyo Games.
The multiple National champion then put the icing on the cake, clinching gold in the final against Algeria’s Fateh Benferdjallah, courtesy of a hard-fought 7-6 victory.
However, his compatriots; Ebikewenimo Welson (57kg), Amas Daniel (65kg), Ogbonna John (74kg) and Soso Tamarau (97kg) all came short in their bid to secure Olympic spots in Tokyo.
Taramau came close to qualifying, but was eventually defeated 6-3 by Mohammed Fardj of Algeria in the semi-finals, while the trio of John, Daniel and Welson failed to reach the crucial stages.
Agiomor’s qualification means Team Nigeria will parade five wrestlers at the Summer Games, which runs from 23 July to 8 August.
Earlier on Saturday, 10-time African champion Blessing Oborududu (68kg), back-to-back Commonwealth gold-medalist Aminat Adeniyi (62kg) and teenager Adijat Idris (50kg) joined already qualified Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) to the global sports fiesta.