The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth games held in the United Kingdom has been dubbed the best outing for team Nigeria in the history of the competition.
Interestingly, team Nigeria’s 12 gold medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games were won by female athletes, the medal haul of 35 is the highest the country has ever amassed since making her debut at the games.
The quartet of Miesinnei Mercy Genesis (50 kg), Blessing Oborududu (57 kg), and Odunayo Adekuroye (57kg) won gold medals in women’s freestyle wrestling.
Oluwatobiloba Amusan took the gold medal in the women’s long jump, while the quartet of Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nkwocha also secured the top spot in the women’s 4X100m relay.
Other gold medalists are Folashade Oluwafemiayo, Women’s heavyweight Para Powerlifting, Eucharia Iyiazi, Women’s shot put; Chioma Onyekwere, and Goodness Nwachukwu in Women’s Discus throw; and Ese Brume, long jump.
Nigeria was represented by a total of 93 Athletes comprising of 41 men and 52 women.
Below is the breakdown:
Although none of them won Gold for Nigeria, some male athletes also made their presence felt at the games with their scintillating performances.
Ikechukwu Obichukwu won the silver medal in Powerlifting at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.
Obichukwu lifted 190kg to finish second behind Sudhir of India while Micky Yule of Scotland took bronze.
Obichukwu’s medal took Team Nigeria to the top spot of the Powerlifting medal table with four medals from three Powerlifting events.
Nigeria’s Innocent Nnamdi made it to the podium after placing third in the men’s lightweight Para-Powerlifting final at the ongoing Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Nnamdi got 132.5 points to finish behind Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin who created a new Commonwealth Games record en route to his para powerlifting gold medal on Thursday.
4×100 Relay Team Male
Nigerian quartet of Udodi Onwuzurike, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Raymond Ekevwo have won Bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay finishing in a time of 38.81s
It was the first time Nigeria would get a podium finish in the event since Auckland 1990. The quartet of Victor Nwankwo, Davidson Ezinwa, Osmond Ezinwa, and Abdullahi Tetengi finished with a silver medal on that occasion.
Ekevwo was second at some point in the anchor leg before he was overtaken by Trinidad and Tobago’s Kyle Greaux.
Odunayo and Mercy Adekuroye
The two sisters who have carved a niche for themselves in Wrestling won Gold and Silver respectively for Nigeria in different categories at the Birmingham Commonwealth games.
Adekuroye defeated India’s Anshu Malik 7-3 to help Nigeria to the gold medal.
The 28-year-old came under pressure but was equal to the challenge from the Indian.
The Ondo-born wrestler has never lost a wrestling match at the Commonwealth Games since she won her first title in 2014.
Born April 23, 1997.
She attended Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Ijebu Ode.
She recently won the 2022 World Athletics Championships 100 metres hurdles gold medal, setting a new world record of 12.12 seconds in the semifinal, followed up by a wind-assisted 12.06 seconds.
She also won Diamond League Trophy in Zurich in 2021 in the 100m hurdles, becoming the first Nigerian to do so, and also breaking the then-African record held by Nigeria’s Glory Alozie in the process.
Favour Chukwuka Ofili
She was born on December 31, 2002.
She holds the national record and the national Under-20 record over the 200m with a time of 21.96 seconds, thus making her the first Nigerian female athlete to run under the 22 seconds barrier.
She ran 10.93s in the 100m at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, LA, on April 30, 2022, and became the first female NCAA athlete to run sub-22s and sub-11s.
She currently competes at Louisiana State University.
She held the NCAA collegiate record with her time of 21.96s in the 200m until Abby Steiner broke the record at NCAA Championships with a time of 21.80s.
She was born on December 5, 2001.
She gained her first international experience at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia where she won a bronze medal behind the teams from England and Jamaica with the Nigerian 4 × 100 m relay team in 42.75 seconds.
In 2019, she won triple gold at the Junior African Championships in Abidjan with 11.62 seconds and 23.81 seconds finishes over 100 m and 200 m respectively, and in 45.56 seconds with the Nigerian 4 × 100 m relay team. In early May, she ran in the 4 × 100 m relay for Nigeria at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama with 45.07 seconds in the first round.
Then she took part in the African Games for the first time in Rabat and reached the final of the 200m, where she did not start. She also won gold with the Nigerian relay team in 44.16 seconds.
Born April 7, 2001, Nwokocha is multiple national champion over 100 metres.
In 2021, she posted a new personal best time in the 100m of 11.09 seconds and, in the process, became the first Nigerian athlete to qualify for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She also won the 100m at the National Sports Festival in Benin.
At the Athletics at the 2020 Summer Olympics Women’s 100 metres, she ran a new personal best time of 11.00 seconds in her heat to qualify for the semi-finals.
In 2022, she came sixth in the final of the NCAA championship in both the 100 metres and the 200 metres. She entered both the 100m and the 200m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships and reached the semi-finals at both events. She also won the Nigerian National Championships over 100 metres.
Nigeria sports is rising again – Minister
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has praised Team Nigeria athletes and officials on their record-breaking outing at the XXII Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
He described Team Nigeria’s success in Birmingham as an indication that Nigerian sports is on the rise again despite the global economic downturn.
Many new records were set as old Commonwealth records were broken by Nigerian athletes.
“The performance of Team Nigeria is excellent, phenomenal and commanding. A signpost of better performances in the future. Congratulations to Team Nigeria athletes and officials on their history-making feat at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The athletes have once again demonstrated the true Nigerian spirit”, said the Minister in his congratulatory message.
“Our success in Birmingham is an indication that Nigerian sports is on the rise again despite the global economic downturn. Our youth have shown the resilience Nigerians are known for and we, as a Sports Ministry, will ensure we continue with the reforms we started in 2019 and which have resulted in the geometrical growth of the sector” the Honourable Minister concluded.
Nigeria won a total of 35 medals comprising of 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze to rank seventh on the medal table.
Nigeria is the highest ranked African nation at the tournament finishing first amongst African nations and 7th in the world. Australia finished first
Nigeria – G: 12 – S: 9 – B: 14 = 35 South Africa – G: 7 – S: 9 – B: 11 = 27 Kenya – G: 6 – S: 5 – B: 10 = 21 Uganda – G: 3 – S: 0 – B: 2 = 5 Cameroon – G: 1 – S: 1 – B: 1 = 3 Zambia – G: 1 – S: 1 – B: 1 = 3 Mauritius – G: 0 – S: 3 – B: 2 = 5