Over the years, Nigerian women have left undeniable marks in the sporting world in general. From football to athletics and every in between, many of them (despite all odds, limitations and obstacles) have proved to be worthy ambassadors for the country and brought fame, glory and laurels to this nation, and as such, deserve to be celebrated.
Although we still have a long (long) way to go in terms of female participation, appreciation and equality in the world of sports, particularly in Africa, the accomplishments of these young women cannot help but make us smile. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, these proudly Nigerian wins are bound to get your week off to an exciting start!
Who can stop talking about Oluwatobiloba Ayomide “Tobi” Amusan? A Nigerian track and field athlete who specialises in the 100 metres hurdles and also competes as a sprinter. Just last night, Tobi Amusan became the first Nigerian ever to win gold at the World Athletics Championships after racing to a stunning world record time of 12.06s. In fact, it was the second time Amusan would break the record that night, improving on her 12.12s in the semi-final, making it look easy with her impressive form and jaw-dropping speed!
“Honestly, I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships,” Amusan said after her final victory. “The goal is always just to execute well and get the win. So the world record is a bonus. I knew I had it in me but I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis,” she said, after the amazing win. Jamaica’s Danielle Williams in an interview after the semi’s told reporters that Amusan predicted her world record win before the race. According to Williams, “Tobi spoke it into existence, just last night I was looking at Instagram and in Shanay’s page I saw a little snippet of what Tobi wrote (in coming world record holder), and to see it unfold today I’m proud of Tobi”
Amusan had produced an unexpected world record in the semi-finals, smashing the previous best mark of 12.20secs held by Kendra Harrison of the United States in 2016. Although her winning time may not count as another world record, it remains the fastest in history under any weather conditions. Personally, we haven’t stopped watching our good sis chew everyone up on the track, running straight into $100,000! 🇳🇬
We’re still excited about Asisat’s win earlier this month. Asisat Oshoala became the greatest African female footballer of all time after winning the 2022 CAF Women’s Footballer of the year award. As the only Nigerian nominee to make the 2022 CAF awards’ final shortlist, her win is extremely personal for women and sports lovers in Nigeria who really need a dose of good news considering all the heartbreaking news circulating in the country.
The Nigerian international can’t seem to stop winning, and has now won the CAF award for a record 5th time – 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022. Lest the facts get lost in the haze of other African achievements: no footballer, both men and women’s categories, has ever won the award up to five times. 2021/22 can be said to be Oshoala’s best season yet as she played a pivotal role in her Spanish (Barcelona) side’s treble charge – the Spanish Women’s Super Cup, Copa de la Reina, and the Primera Division.
The long-jump sensation has been making us proud as one of the country’s most promising talents in the athletics world in recent years. After winning the Bronze medal at the world championships in 2019, Brume said she hoped her story would inspire other young girls in Nigeria, where she noted that sports participation among women is still at low levels.
“I want to make young girls believe all things are possible,” she said. “I’m not any super girl from one unique place. No, I’m a local girl from Ughelli. So if this local girl can do it, can come this far from nothing to become something, then you also can do it.” The star athlete’s words speak for themselves and her latest achievement — winning the silver medal in the women’s long jump at the World Athletics Championship in Eugene, Oregon yesterday (achieved with a leap of 7.02m), shows that the 26-year-old is living up to her dreams, and improving upon her own standards. And in case you forgot, Brume is also the African junior record holder in the event and a five-time African junior champion in athletics.
Nigeria’s Relay Team
Running in lane 8, the quartet of Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha clocked 42.22 seconds as they finished 4th in the final to set a new African record at the World Athletics.
Despite their record-breaking effort, they missed out on the podium as they were beaten to bronze by Germany but still managed to become the first Nigerian team in 11 years to qualify for the women’s 4x100m final at the World Championships which is no small feat.