The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games are underway, ironically NOT taking place in 2020 but better late than never, no thanks to the pandemic. With our sixty athletes in Tokyo for the games, 24 men and 36 women, Nigerians everywhere are excited to see what our competitors will be able to accomplish.
By the end of the 17 days of this year’s Olympics, started on the 23rd of July and planned to end on the 8th of August, Nigeria will have participated in 10 Olympic Sports. 36 events. Surprisingly, out of the 10 sports we are going to be participating in, football (or if you are American, soccer) is not one of them. The football-fanatics that are Nigerians are giving football a rest this year and are instead aiming for Olympic Basketball glory. Who could really blame them after our stellar victory over Team USA and Argentina.
In the coming days, we’re going to have to look out for our Nigerians and cheer them on as we aim for the top.
D’Tigers female counterpart, D’Tigress will be playing against the US women’s team and try to avenge their loss to them in Vegas earlier.
(5:40 AM Nigerian Time)
Abiola Ogunbanwo will hopefully be swimming her way to victory in Women’s 100m Freestyle. This 17 year old will change Nigeria’s tradition of watching others swim and take us to having a foot in the race, or in this case, a whole body.
Be sure to tune in to this one as Nigeria takes on some of its 12 events in track and field. Blessing Okagbare will be the one to watch as she returns after her Long Jump silver medal, shooting for the podium in Women’s 100m Dash, alongside fellow Nigerians, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha. With the Mixed 4x400m relay happening for the first time in Olympic history, Nigeria has already set records last month with an African record and the 3rd fastest time in the world this year with her 3:14.09. With many more events taking place, today would be the day to most definitely tune in.
One athletics day after another, Nigeria will return to the track again the day after to show us once more what they’ve got. Following the heat from the previous day, if our Nigerian runners qualify for the Mixed 4×400 Relay Finals, then we’ll be sure to hit the track again today. The Women’s 100m Final will also take place on this day and two out of the only four African women to qualify for this race are Nigerian. As well as Men’s 100m heats occurring, Tobi Amusan will be competing in the 100m Hurdle Dash, looking to rectify her narrowly missed out podium placement for the same event in the 2019 World Championships.
Qualifications. Qualifications. Qualifications. This day is all about qualifications. The Men’s 100m Final, the cherry on top of each and every Olympic Games. If any Nigerian man qualifies from the day before for this event, it would be an exciting moment in Nigerian Olympic History. Also, if Ruth Usoro progresses further than the qualification round, we’ll be seeing her again participating in the Triple Jump Final. An event that is NOT derived from qualifications however is the Hammer Throw with Annette Echikunwoke representing Nigeria in this qualification round, in hopes of making it to the finals.
Today we have our wrestlers, Odunayo Adekuoroye leading the Nigerian Wrestling charge in her Women’s Freestyle 57kg and Ekerekeme Agiomor, who will be competing in the Men’s 86kg and also the only male Nigerian Wrestler in Tokyo. Odunayo is one of our medal prospects as she won a Bronze medal in her category at the 2019 World Championships. Alongside her will be Adijat Idris in 50kg, Aminat Adeniyi in 62kg and Blessing Oborududu in 68 kg.
Nigeria has come a long way in the Olympics since it first competed in 1952 and this year’s Tokyo Games will definitely be one to watch for all of us. Though we may have lost some events already, remember, win or lose, we’ll always be happy for our people.
Will you be watching Nigeria at the Olympics?
By: Joshua Osifo