After NSF, Nigeria Open exploits:
New breeds Ifeoluwa, Itiku, Anyanacho, others rule in latest NTF ranking
Q-Madi of Lagos new sensation Ifeoluwa Ajayi at the weekend emerged number one in the -63kg category (Male) of the latest national ranking, less than one month after first-ever Nigeria international Open championship staged in Abuja.
Ajayi was adjudged most valuable athlete at the just concluded global championship where he defeated all his opponents including number two Africa’s best and 26th ranked in the world Oumar Sissoko who hails from Mali.
He also hit tops against highly-rated Ibrahim Idrissa of Burkina at the Nigeria Open. Consistent Ajayi also grabbed gold at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF).
Another NSF silver-medal winner and Nigeria Open champion in -80kg Peter Ituku of the Federal Capital Territory who attained senior level recently is now rated number one in his weight category.
Other Athletes who are current kings in the various male categories include Charles Okon (-58kg) from Kebbi state, Abdullateef Arinola of Lagos state (-54kg), Shola Olowookere of Delta (-68kg), Bright Kolade of Kebbi (-74kg), Rivers Sunday Onofe (-87) and Sadiq Abdulrahman (+87kg) Plateau state.
In the female corner, formally unranked 17-year-old Helen Okoko (Rivers state) is currently number one ranked athlete in the female -57kg category. Okoko is an African Youth Games bronze medallist and National junior champions who wowed teeming crowd at the just concluded Nigeria Open before she eventually won gold.
Her mother Chiamaka Ononumu is also the number one in the +73kg, heavyweight division after winning gold medals in the past four major competitions – Nigeria Open, NSF, Korean Ambassadors Cup and National trials.
In the female -67kg, new breed Elizabeth Anyanacho rules as number one. Anyanacho has been at her best in the past months. She dusted former national champion Judith Usifo at both NSF and Nigeria.
In the past two weeks, Anyanacho took part at 2019 Turkish and Egypt Open with an eye at the forthcoming All African Games and 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
Rivers-based and veteran fighter Josephine Esuku (-46kg) maintained her top place in her category, just as her state compatriots – Chinazum Nwosu (-53kg) and Vivian Ndu (-62kg) are still number one in their categories.
Sekiyat Adebayo (-49kg) of Kano state also retained her number one spot.