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Window For Nigerian Medal In 200m Closes With Poor Semi-Final Finish; But Wrestler Oborududu Aims For Gold

Oborududu

August 02, (THEWILL) – Another opportunity for Team Nigeria’s first medal in the Summer Olympics, presently underway in Tokyo, Japan collapsed with the fourth place finish of Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha in semi-final 3 of the women’s 200m event at the Games.

Her quick run was insufficient to earn her a place as it closed Nigeria’s chances in the sprints.

THEWILL reported on Sunday that Nwokocha was to continue the country’s medal chase in the event after finishing third in heat 1 behind Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.

Nwokocha had not run the most inspiring races at the Games but put in a determined run as she turned in a performance she believed was sufficient to earn her a spot in the final at best. The evidence for her effort showed as she clocked in a Personal Best time of 22.47s at the finish.

The athletes who were first and second in Nwokocha’s heat that qualified her for the semi-finals, Cote d’Ivoire’s Ta Lou and Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas also were first and second in the race and they finished in 22.11s and 22.14s respectively.

In third and crossing the finish line 0.21s before Nwokocha as the only European in the top three that qualified through semi-final 3 was Mujinga Kambundji. Her time of 22.26s allowed her and the first two to qualify through to the 200m finals.

Nwokocha’s inability to make the final leaves Team Nigeria still without a medal.

However, there is a certainty for either gold or silver in wrestling as Nigerian athlete in the 68kg freestyle event, Blessing Oborududu, has reached the events Tuesday’s final for women.

Oborududu was one of five wrestlers that came to Tokyo having qualified through their respective weight categories at the 2021 African & Oceania Qualification Tournament in Hammamet, Tunisia.

The others are females Adijat Idris (50 kg), Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Aminat Adeniyi, who will contest against Iryna Koliadenko of Ukraine in the 62 kg freestyle on Tuesday, and Ekerekeme Agiomor in the 86kg class for the men’s freestyle.