Nigeria is a sports loving country. This can be observed during the weekends when people in cities like Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt flood various stadiums and bars to watch the English premiership and other local and international sports tourneys.
Patriots donning the green white green national colour are always proud to step out to represent this country and put the nation in the headlines of the international sports media.
While many remain fans for the rest of their lives, a few others rise through the ranks to global acclaim as superstars in track and field events. Jovago.com, Africa’s Number 1 rounds up 5 sports personalities making Nigeria proud around the world in various international sports.
This Sapele born athlete is Nigeria’s best-known track and field sports personality. She first came to limelight when she won a bronze medal in the long jump event at the Beijing Olympics in China in 2008.
Her versatility led her to add 100 and 200 metres to her list of events. She compete in these events and has been very successful so far.
Her sterling performances in Africa and at international events have won Nigeria international acclaim and recognition.
Chika is the son of late Senator Uche Chukwumerije. He is best known for fighting in the sports of Taekwondo. His prowess in Taekwondo saw him inducted into the World’s Taekwondo Hall of Fame in New Jersey, as an ‘outstanding male African Olympic player’ in 2009.
He won a gold medal at the 2007-all Africa games and in honour of his immense contribution to Nigerian sports, he captained Nigeria to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. His dedication to training and determination to win has endeared him to many.
Chika has fought 39 registered fights and won 20 out of them according to taekwondodata.com.
If you peruse a list of female football players in Nigeria, Oshoala will be number one on that list.
Her dribbling skills, eye for goals and team play won her the first ever BBC Female World Footballer of the year. She defeated female football superstars like Marta-Brazil, Nadine Kessler-Germany, and Kim Little Scotland to emerge the winner.
According to the Guardian: “Oshoala, who became the first African footballer in the Women’s Super League when she signed for Liverpool in January, won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2014 Under-20 World Cup, where she scored seven goals in six matches.
He played table tennis as a hobby when he was young. But, today he is known all over the world as one of the best ping pong players. The peak of his career came in 2014 when he was declared the International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF, star player of the year.
This was indeed a well-deserved award as he defeated the best including the Chinese players, the purported owners of the ping pong game to scoop the award. It was a moment to savour for many Nigerians!
John Mikel Obi
Mikel Obi came to the consciousness of football fans across the world at the 2005 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Netherlands.
His telegraphic passes and sleek ball distribution made football pundits name him a talent for the future. He won the silver medal alongside other team members at the tourney. He was even billed to replace Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha in the in midfield position of the National team.
Today, Mikel Obi plays for Chelsea, one of the top teams in England. He is a key player for the team and has won the English Premiership, the Champions league and the African Nations cup. He is one of the few decorated Nigerian players after the great Kanu Nwankwo.