World No. 3 Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after reaching the semi-finals of the ongoing 2019 Senior World Wrestling championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
To secure her Olympics spot, the 2017 World silver-medallist overwhelmed North Korea’s In Sun Jong 12-2 via technical superiority in the quarter-finals, after easily beating her opponents in the previous rounds.
However, the back-to-back Commonwealth champion will contest for a bronze medal, as she lost 6-1 to two-time World and Olympic champion Risako Kawai of Japan in the semi-final.
Thursday’s bronze medal match between Adekuoroye and a yet-to-determined opponent is slated for around 1pm Nigerian time (6pm in Kazakhstan), and victory will hand the 25-year-old her second bronze medal at the World Championships following her 2015 feat in Las Vegas, USA.
Meanwhile, in the 76kg category, Nigeria’s Blessing Onyebuchi has a chance of claiming a bronze medal, as she fights in the repechage against Aline da Silva Ferreira of Brazil on Thursday.
The reigning African champion lost to eventual finalist Hiroe Minagawa Suzuki of Japan 10-7 after comfortably leading 7-0 in the their qualification round bout.
Elsewhere, African Games gold-medallist Mercy Genesis (50kg) missed out of a chance to book an Olympic ticket from the World Championships, as she lost 9-9 via passivity to India’s Seema Seema in the repechage.
Team Nigeria’s other representatives at the global showpiece; Blessing Oborududu (68kg), Aminat Adeniyi (62kg) and Emmanuel Ogbonna (74kg) will all begin their quest for glory and Olympic tickets on Thursday.
All top six athletes in their respective weight classes at the tournament will automatically qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games.