Nigeria’s Track And Field History Makers At The Commonwealth Games
Tobi Amusan 100m Hurdles:
The reigning World champion and record holder (12.12 seconds) became the first Nigerian track and field athlete to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games title and the second in Games history to win the 100m hurdles back-to-back after Australia’s Sally Pearson.
Tobi is also the first Nigerian in history to win the African, Commonwealth and World title ever and the first to win in the same year.
Her three gold medals are the most won by a track and field athlete at the Commonwealth Games, one more than Blessing Okagbare won in 2014 in Glasgow and Ese Brume.
In total, she has won four Commonwealth Games medals following the bronze medal she won as a member of the 4x100m relay team four years ago and makes her the track and field athlete with the most medals won at the Games.
Women 4x100m Relay Team:
The quartet of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha made history as the first women’s relay team to win the Commonwealth Games gold medal in the event since the quartet of Faith Idehen, Mary Tombiri, Christy Opara-Thompson and Mary Onyali 28 years ago.
The team did it in record-breaking fashion, running 42.10 seconds to set a new Nigeria and African record barely a month after rewriting the record (42.22 seconds) at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA last month.
Udodi Onwuzurike (200m):
Former World U20 200m champion, Udodi was handed the task of returning Nigeria to the final of the half lap event at the Commonwealth Games and the 19 year old fulfilled expectations.
The last time Nigerian men ran in the final of the event was 16 years ago when the duo of Uchenna Emedolu (20.66) and Enefiok Udobong (20.69s) placed sixth an seventh respectively in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.
Udodi ran 20.78 seconds to finish sixth in Birmingham but could not break the 28 year old jinx of not making it to the podium after Daniel Effiong ran 20.40 seconds to place third in Victoria, Canada.
Chioma Onyekwere (Discus Throw):
Reigning African Championships champion Chioma added the Commonwealth Games title to her title collections after winning a surprise gold medal for Nigeria on day one of athletics event at the Games in Birmingham.
Chioma’s 61.70m winning mark is her second best career mark ever and it was enough to make her the first Nigerian woman to win a Discus throw title in the history of the Games.
Men 4x100m Relay Team
For the first time in 32 years, Nigeria had her 4x100m men mount the podium at the Commonwealth Games. This feat was achieved by the quartet Udodi Onwuzurike, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Raymond Ekevwo who ran 38.81 seconds to place third in Birmingham.
Nigeria’s first medal in this event was the gold medal the relay team made up of Lawrence Adegbehingbe, Iziaq Adeyanju, Samson Oyeledun and Ikpoto Eseme forty years ago (1982) in Brisbane, Australia.
With a boycott of the 1986 games by Nigeria, Nigeria returned to the podium in 1990 in Auckland with the quartet of Victor Nwankwo, Davidson Ezinwa, Osmond Ezinwa and Abdullahi Tetengi (38.85) winning the silver medal.
Ese Brume (Long Jump)
Ese Brume successfully reclaimed her long jump title she relinquished without a fight four years ago. The 26 year old returned to the Commonwealth Games scene with a big ban, jumping 6.99m in the second round to break the 16 year old 6.97m Games record before leaping over 6.95m twice on her way to making history as the first woman in the history of the competition to hit the 7m mark with her last effort of the night.
Brume joined Blessing Okagbare and Tobi Amusan as Nigerian track and field athletes with at least two gold medals in the competition and the second after Amusan to win the same event twice. She is also the second Nigerian athlete after Amusan to win gold at two Commonwealth Games.
Culled from Complete Sports