Balogun: an abandoned gymnast to a national wrestling champion

Balogun: an abandoned gymnast to a national wrestling champion

National Champion, Sunmisola Balogun said she was converted from a gymnast to a wrestler by the Ondo State Wrestling coach, Purity Akuh.

The 17 years old wrestler won gold in the Women’s 65kg freestyle at the recently concluded National Sports Festival in Abuja.

She told that Ondo State wrestling coach needed a 30kg female wrestler who will compete at the 2009 School Sports Festival in Ogun state and she indicated interest.

Balogun said, “How I started wrestling even surprised me. I was a gymnastic before wrestling coach (Purity Akuh) need a female who will fought 30kg category for them, I told him I can fight and I eventually won gold. Coach Purity encourages me so much; that’s how i fall in love with combat sport (wrestling)”.

Speaking on her performance at the National Sports Festival, Balogun said, “It is a great privilege for me to become a national champion at this my age (17yrs) it encourage me more to maintain my position and to move ahead.

“I am a junior athlete who fought in 65kg category and won gold medal at the National Sport Festival. It did not come as a surprise because I have been consistent this year attending the Africa Youth Games in Algeria and the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. My success on the African continent gives me more moral and I pray for God’s guidance to help me excel in my career.

The Africa Youth Champion said the Youth Olympic Games help shaped her wrestling skills.

She said, “It was painful not winning a medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina but the tournament made me improve my skills and techniques”.

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