By Solomon Nwoke
World Silver medallist and 2014 Commonwealth Champion, Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg), Eight time African champion, Blessing Oborududu (68kg) and Six time African champion, Amas Daniel (65kg) who doubles as the captain of the Nigeria male team are among the 12-man team of wrestlers that will fly the country’s flag at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia next month.
The team made up of six male and six women apiece which include 2014 Commonwealth Champion, Aminat Adeniyi, 2014 Commonwealth Bronze medallist, Blessing Onyebuchi (76kg), 2015 All Africa Games gold medallist and two-times African Champion,Mercy Genesis (50kg) and African champion, Bose Samuel (53kg).
Others are 010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Sinivie Boltic (125kg), African champion Melvin Bibo (86kg), Commonwealth silver medalist, Welson Ebikewenimo (57kg); former African champion, Soso Tamarau (97kg) and Amos Assizecourt (74kg).
Of note is, Boltic who will be making his fourth appearance, while Amas Daniel as well as veteran and Capitan of the female team, Oborududu will also be marking their third appearances at the Commonwealth Games.
Surprisingly, John Ogbonna Emmanuel, who recently ranked World No.1 in the 70kg freestyle category by the United World Wrestling (UWW) was left out of the team with African champion, Dressman Kemesuodei.
According to the President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali the two-time African champion is in a non-Commonwealth Games weight class.
He said the Governor Wike Wrestling Championship held in Port Harcourt last November was used as trials for the Commonwealth Games.
His words: “We used tournaments to select the teams. But if there is a compelling case, we make decisions in the best interest of the country”, noting that in the 76kg weight category, 2018 Africa silver medallist, Blessing Onyebuchi beat Nigeria Army’s Winnie Gofit in a keenly contested bout.