*At the final of tennis summer clinic
Governor Olurotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has restated the commitment of his government to the upliftment of sports persons who excel and want to build a flourishing career out of sports as a foreign income earning instrument.
The governor who spoke at the closing ceremony of the Tennis clinic organised by his wife, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, acknowledged the performance of the three wrestlers from the state during the just concluded World championships. Their efforts are noted and will be honoured by the state.
On the tennis initiative, he said, “the government will make the environment conducive for the private initiative to help salvage, promote and bring greater opportunities to our youths in the state. We shall keep the dream of our state’s youths alive. We shall do our best to use sports to engage our youth population.”
“I guarantee our youths that we shall build a conducive environment for you to thrive. I plead that swimming should be added to the number of sports you have chosen to deliver on the National Sports Development
Also speaking at the event, Mr Yemi Owoseni, who spoke on behalf of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) said, “what the wife of the governor has done is marvellous. This is what the new leadership of the federation and even the International Tennis Federation (ITF) had been clamouring. We want this initiative sustained.
“Mr Governor sir, we also appeal to you to revitalise the Ondo Governor’s Tennis championship. This championship had stopped five years ago. We look forward to you as a key member of the nation’s tennis family to return this event to the circuit.”
It would be recalled that Odunayo Adekuruoye, Amina Adeniyi John Emmanuel and coach Akuh Purity were members of Team Nigeria to the world championships in Paris-France from Ondo State.
Adekuruoye lost in the final, Amina came 8th in the world, John Emmanuel came 28th while Coach Akuh Purity was one of the national team coaches. That is the first time Nigeria is on the medals table. Adekuoroye narrowly lost to Haruna Okuno of Japan 4-5 in the final of the 55kg women’s freestyle.
Adekuoroye is ranked No. 1 in Africa and won gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships in the U.S. Adekuoroye is now the first woman from Nigeria to march into the gold medal final at Senior World Wrestling Championships.
The Ondo State-born wrestler started her campaign by defeating Mathilde Helene 13-9 in the qualification round to move to the Round of 16. She then proved to be too much for Lenka Martinakova as she defeated the Czech Republic wrestler 10-0.
In her quarter-final match, the three-time African champion out-powered Mongolia’s Davaachimeg Erkhembayar 8-4 before going ahead to defeat U-23 European Champion, Irina Kurachkina of Belarus 10-0 in the semi-final. It was, however, unfortunate for seven-time African champion, Blessing Oborududu, who lost 7-8 to 31-year-old Jackeline Renteria Castillo of Colombia in the 63kg bronze medal match. The 28-year-old Nigerian led 5-2 after first period, but the Colombian fought back to victory.
Also, Aminat Adeniyi was unlucky in the 58kg division as she was beaten in the quarter-final stage by Kagazkhan’s Tynybekova 4-3.
The three-time African champion and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth gold medallist had earlier defeated European champion, Grace Bullen of Norway 9-8 and Czech Republic’s Hockova Martinakova 10-0.