Team Nigeria suffered a number of back-to-back disappointments after the euphoria of winning two medals in a single day, with three athletes getting eliminated from their various events on Day 14 of events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Experienced wrestler and medal hopeful Odunayo Adekuruoye fell to a frustrating and surprising defeat at the Round of 16 against Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita in the women’s 57kg freestyle category. Despite being in evident control of the fight and having an impressive 8-2 lead, three-time World Championship medalist Adekuruoye let down her guard for a split second and allowed Nichita to secure a pinfall which automatically made the Moldovan the winner of the fight, leaving Adekuruoye to face the same fate that Aminat Adeniyi did in her quarterfinal match only yesterday. Adekuruoye must not lose hope, as she still stands a chance of fighting for the bronze medal via the Repechage if Nichita reaches the final of the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria’s only representative in men’s wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics Ekerekeme Agiomor was also at the losing end of his match against 2019 World Championship silver medalist and number two ranked men’s wrestler, India’s Deepak Punia in the quarterfinal of their 86kg freestyle category. Agiomor was defeated by technical superiority by his Indian opponent, with the match ending 12-1 in favour of the Indian. Punia will face China’s Lin Zushen in the semifinals and Agiomor will hope he wins so that he has a chance to compete for the bronze medal via the Repechage.
In women’s solo 200m canoeing, Nigeria’s Bello Ayomide finished in third place with a time of 47.54 seconds to miss out on the automatic qualifying places. Bello will now have to participate in quarterfinal 3 and hope to pick up one of the two spots reserved for the top two from that event.
In other news, a video surfaced online of Nigeria’s shotput finalist Chukwuebuka Enekwechi washing his only allotted Team Nigeria kit after securing qualification to the finals of the men’s shotput event because he had been given only one kit for use at the Olympics. This is another slap on the face of Nigeria at the Olympics, and it represents a burning issue of mismanagement of these athletes and their best interests that needs to be addressed.