The 1st edition of the Governor Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics came to an end on Tuesday night as Olympic Silver medalist Blessing Oborududu, Hannah Reuben, Ogbonna John, Welson Ebikewenimo and Stephen Simon emerged champions at the national classics held at the indoor sport hall of the Samson Siasia Stadium Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The final bouts started on a sad note as multiple African champion Mercy Genesis of Bayelsa in the 50kg retired in her fight against Christiana Ogunsanya just few minutes into her bout after suffering a knee injury while trailing 2-0 in the final. Unable to continue, Ogunsanya was awarded the gold medal while Mercy Genesis settled for silver.
In the 68kg class, reigning Olympic Silver medalist and 10-time African champion Blessing Oborududu of Bayelsa survived an early scare to record an impressive 12-2 win via technical superiority against Team Delta’s Dumebi Ndah in the final to clinch gold.
Meanwhile, in a battle of two heavyweights, African champion Hannah Reuben of the Nigerian Army prevailed 4-1 over Team Bayelsa’s Kemasuodei Dressman in the final of the 76kg class to clinch gold.
Also in the 78kg freestyle events, 4-time African champion Ogbonna John (Ondo state) defeated Ugbo kpun of Edo state by 11-0 technical superiority win to clinch the gold medal.
Commonwealth silver medalist Ebikewenimo Welson of team Bayelsa State overcome Stephen Akintewe of Team Oyo 5-1 in the 57kg category final.
In the 65kg weight class, a new National champions emerged after Stephen Simon of Dynamite Club who had caused a huge upset in the semifinals bout by defeating commonwealth silver medalist Amas Daniel won a keenly-contested finale against Eghty Appau of Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) 3-2 to clinch his first senior national title.
All the wrestlers who clinched gold medals have qualified to represent Team Nigeria at the 2022 African Championships in El Jadida, Morocco, in few weeks time.