Nine time African Champion, Blessing Oborududu said the experience of ten years on the national wrestling team will come in handy and hopefully propel her to win a medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion told www.aclsports.com that she have plans to own a wrestling club especially for female wrestlers after retirement.
In a one on one interview with our correspondent Kuti Dare, the national women’s wrestling captain revealed that her next plans after the Tokyo Olympics is to bag a coaching certificate.
Aclsports: The Corona Virus has put on hold sporting activities in the world. How are you dealing with this?
Oborodudu: As an athlete who used to train between four to six hours in a day, the lockdown has made me adjust my training schedule. I did not take any chance because it will be bad to take things for granted but I miss wrestling so bad.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic affected the world, I had so many expectations because I am ranked number two in my weight class. I know the postponement is to safeguard the health of athletes, officials and spectators but I cannot wait for the virus to completely fade away so we can get back to normal activities.
Aclsports: You have successfully completed your first degree, what is next for you?
Oborodudu: After my Bachelor’s degree, I have intention of bagging a master’s degree very soon. Apart from my tertiary education, my next plan is to get coaching certification because I cannot wrestle forever. I definitely need to keep myself prepared to coach young athletes when finally call time on my career and produce wrestlers who will be better than me.
Aclsports: You were at London and Rio Olympics, what are you going to do differently this time?
Oborodudu: Of course, I am going to make a difference at my 3rd Olympics by the special grace of God. The first thing is for the COVID-19 to come to an end so that we can attend the African Olympic Qualifiers. I was quite young and inexperienced at my first Olympics outing at London in 2012. At my second Olympics, I wrestled 1-1 and lost by criteria to the then reigning world champion and was eliminated. If I do make it to the third Olympics by the grace of God, the experience of ten years on the national team will come in handy and hopefully propel me to a medal.
Aclsports: You won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, what inspired you?
Oborodudu: Having won silver and bronze in 2010 and 2014, I was determined to add the gold medal to complete all colours of medals at the Commonwealth games. Seeing that two of my team mates had won gold previously, I felt with more focused training, the result would be different.
Hon. Daniel Igali (President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation) had always told me that I was capable of winning gold in my category at the Commonwealth Games. We corrected some of my lapses on the mats with the federation Hon. Daniel Igali, my coach Victor Kodei and Purity Akuh to achieve my goals in 2018. The changes we made to my training and wrestling style not only helped me at the commonwealth Games; it has changed my wrestling to achieve better results.
Aclsports: Do you have plans of having your own wrestling academy?
Oborodudu: Yes I do, I have plans to own a wrestling club especially for female wrestlers.
Aclsports: How will pursuing more educational qualifications affect your wrestling?
Oborodudu: The rigours of school are only better imagined as you well know. Having finished my first degree, I hope I will have more time to devote to training and competitions over the coming years without any distractions of lectures, tests and exams.