Tokyo 2020 Olympian Ekerekeme Agiomor, African champions Soso Tamarau and Esther Kolawole, as well as Ebi Biogos, Ebipadei Mughenbofa and Petezilagha Obazee all won gold in their respective weight categories on the penultimate day of competition at the 1st Gov. Diri National Wrestling Classics in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Wrestling in the 86kg Freestyle event, Team Delta’s Agiomor – a 2018 African champion – relied on his vast experience to overpower Jackson Oluwafemi of Ondo State 4-3 in a keenly-contested final to clinch gold, thereby avenging a shock defeat to his opponent in the earlier round.
“To be honest with you, the boy really gave me a tough fight,” Agiomor admitted after his hard-earned win.
“Secondly, I haven’t really hit form before I wrestled with him. But by the grace of God, the wisdom and my understanding of the mat, I was able to win this bout.
“I feel happy; very, very happy because in the first bout against him, what I didn’t expect happened. But I made up my mind and prayed to God to win him (in the final).”
Meanwhile, Yahaya Muhammed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) won the bronze medal on offer in the 86kg class.
In the 97kg class, veteran former African champion Soso Tamarau of Team Delta secured gold after round-robin wins against Omega Bassey (Bayelsa State), Yahaya Idris (Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC) and Sunday Olawale (Kwara State). Bassey and Idris won silver and bronze medals respectively.
Similarly, Petezilagha Obazee of Team Edo impressively thrashed Team Bayelsa’s Andaowei Asanakpa 10-0 via technical superiority in the final of the 92kg class to win gold. Micah Damini of Team Delta got the bronze medal on offer in that category.
In Women Wrestling, African champion and World U-23 bronze-medalist Esther Kolawole needed just 86sec to defeat home girl Favour Opuene 4-0 via pinfall in the final of the 62kg class.
In the same vein, Team Bayelsa’s Ebi Biogos secured a 6-4 pinfall victory against former African Junior champion Sunmisola Balogun of Ondo State to claim gold in the 72kg class in a tough finale that saw both wrestlers leave everything on the mat.
After a couple of attempts at senior level, youngster Ebipadei Mughenbofa (Team Bayelsa) finally won her first National title, claiming gold in the 65kg class following round-robin wins against Temene Deye of Ijaw Club and Team Ondo’s Esther Asaolu, who won silver and bronze medals respectively.
The 1st Gov. Diri National Wrestling Classics will come to an end on Tuesday, 3 May, with the likes of Olympic silver medalist Blessing Oborududu, multiple African champions Odunayo Adekuoroye, Amas Daniel, Mercy Genesis, all expected to be in action at the Indoor Sports Hall of Samson Siasia Sports complex, Yenagoa.