By Tony Ubani, in Tokyo
Odunayo Adekuoroye was Team Nigeria’s hope and face at the Tokyo Olympics. She was so good that she was described as good as gold. Nigerians looked eagerly to her fight with high hopes.
But the unexpected happened yesterday as Adekuoroye was beaten flatly through a pinfall after romping to an 8-0 lead by Moldova’s Nichita Anastasia. How are the mighty fallen!
The venue became quiet like a graveyard. Sports Minister clasped his hands on his head. Daniel Igali was shell-shocked. Solomon Ogba was confused and kept asking; “what happened? She was leading 8-0”. AFN President Tony Okowa, NOC President Habu Gumel and Scribe Banji Oladapo. They were all stung. Tears welled on the eyes of Igali. Other international officials mourned.
When Igali got hold oh himself, he could still not believe that the gold medal in the making had melted.
“She( Adekuoroye) had beaten this same girl in all their previous meetings. She beats her mercilessly by 10-0, 10-0, 10-0 in all their fights. This is unbelievable”, he said still stuck on his seat as Sports Minister Dare and Ogba offered him help.
“The zone was clear for her to go straight to the final. The tough fighters she beats were not on her zone”, Igali lamented.
Looking at a possible technical aspect that could still offer Adekuoroye the chance of survival, Igali shook his head and foreclosed any hope.
This Moldovan is not good and cannot get to the final to offer such hope for the Nigerian.
And true to his words, Adekuoroye,s conqueror was dismissed in her next fight 6-3 by a Bulgarian thereby extinguishing any ray of hope for Adekuoroye.
The shock was tremendous and the deafening silence that descended on the hall showed that a calamity had happened.