Blessing Oborududu is a Nigerian freestyle wrestler. She is now ranked as the world’s second-best female wrestler and the first Nigerian to win an Olympic medal in a wrestling event. She won the African championship ten times between 2010 and 2020. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Blessing also won gold in the Women’s Freestyle 68kg category.
Early Life and Education
Blessing Oborududu was born in Gbanranu, Bayelsa State, Nigeria on March 12, 1989. Blessing completed primary and secondary school. Her secondary school was Saint Jude’s Girls Secondary School in Amaratan, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. She began her amateur wrestling career while still in school during an inter-house sports competition before being invited to the national camp.
Blessing has always wanted to compete in wrestling, but her parents strongly discouraged her from pursuing her dream, believing that the sport should be dominated by men. People in her neighborhood also bullied and discouraged her. She was invited to the national camp in 2007 as a result of her abilities.
Blessing has won a gold medal in the African Wrestling Championships every year since she began competing in 2010, with the exception of 2012, when she chose not to compete due to her participation in the Summer Olympics. She lost in the 1/8 finals of the freestyle 63 kg competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics to Monika Michalik.
She won the bronze medal in the women’s middleweight division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games after defeating Chloe Spiteri. She also competed in the women’s middleweight division at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where she was defeated in the second round by Soronzonboldyn Battsetseg. She also won a gold medal in the women’s 63 kg division at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.
She won the gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, defeating Danielle Lappage of Canada. At the 2021 African and Oceania Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament, she qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. In June of that year, she also won a silver medal in her competition at the 2021 Poland Open in Warsaw, Poland.
She won the silver medal on August 3, 2021, after losing 4-1 to Tamyra Mensah-Stock of the United States in the women’s freestyle 68 kg final at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She made history as the first Nigerian wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She eventually won Nigeria’s first silver medal at the Olympics in Tokyo. In 2022, she won the gold medal in the 68 kg division of the Istanbul, Turkey-based Yasar Dogu Tournament, defeating Kyrgyz rival Meerim Zhumanazarova 3-2.
She won the gold medal in her division at the 2022 African Wrestling Championships in El Jadida, Morocco. A month later, she won one of the bronze medals in her competition at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series 2022 in Rome, Italy. She won the gold medal in the women’s 68 kg competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Blessing, along with Odunayo Adekuoroye, is one of the best wrestlers in the world and in her category. Her marital status, however, is unknown.
She looks up to former wrestler Daniel Igali, a Canadian-Nigerian who was once thought to be the first Nigerian to win an Olympic medal, and he inspired her to become a wrestler.
The African Wrestling Championships
|Bronze||2009 Casablanca||59 kg|
|Gold||2010 Cairo||59 kg|
|Gold||2011 Dakar||63 kg|
|Gold||2013 N’Djamena||63 kg|
|Gold||2014 Tunis||63 kg|
|Gold||2015 Alexandria||63 kg|
|Gold||2016 Alexandria||69 kg|
|Gold||2017 Marrakesh||63 kg|
|Gold||2018 Port Harcourt||68 kg|
|Gold||2019 Hammamet||68 kg|
|Gold||2020 Algiers||68 kg|
|Gold||2022 El Jadida||68 kg|
|Silver||2010 Delhi||63 kg|
|Bronze||2014 Glasgow||63 kg|
|Gold||2018 Gold Coast||68 kg|
|Gold||2022 Birmingham||76 kg|
Islamic Solidarity Games
|Gold||2017 Baku||63 kg|
|Silver||2020 Tokyo||68 kg|
|Silver||2021 Poland||68 kg|
Yasar Dogu Tournament
|Gold||2022 Istanbul||68 kg|
|Gold||2019 Istanbul||68 kg|
Blessing Oborududu’s net worth is estimated at $2 million.