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Exclusive: Nigerian Women Athletes Carry Medal Hopes to Paris 2024 Olympics

Nigerian women athletes are carrying the nation's medal hopes to the Paris 2024 Olympics, continuing a trend of outperforming their male counterparts. With standout stars like Tobi Amusan and Blessing Oborududu, the focus is on these dedicated athletes to bring home gold for Nigeria.

 Alao Oluwasey
Alao Oluwaseyi

Last Updated: 2024-07-11

Louis Hobbs

4 minutes read

As the 2024 Olympic Games approach, questions loom over Team Nigeria's potential to make a significant impact.

Historical Context: Nigeria’s Olympic Journey

Despite participating in the Olympics since 1952, Nigeria has only secured a total of 27 medals, including just two gold medals, both won in 1996 in Atlanta.

This remains the country's most successful outing, with Chioma Ajunwa winning gold in the women's long jump and the football team, led by Kanu Nwankwo, clinching another gold.

Women Outperforming Men: A Persistent Trend

Ajunwa's achievement stands out as Nigeria's only individual Olympic gold medal, highlighting a persistent trend: Nigerian female athletes consistently outperform their male counterparts.

This trend continued in the 2000 Sydney Games, where Gloria Alozie secured a silver medal in the women's 110m hurdles, salvaging Nigeria's presence on the podium.

In the most recent Tokyo Games, Team Nigeria earned two medals, both won by women. Ese Brume claimed bronze in the women's long jump, while Blessing Oborududu won silver in wrestling.

With the Paris Games only weeks away, hopes are once again pinned on the women to bring home medals.

Nigeria's female athletes are world-class, while many of their male counterparts, particularly in athletics, are less experienced.

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Image Credits: Nigeria Olympic Committee

Key Athletes to Watch: Stars of Nigerian Athletics

Tunde Popoola, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, acknowledged this disparity in an interview with SportsBoom.com, noting that women have become the dominant force in Nigerian sports.

"The men dominated previously, but this time, it's all about the women. They qualified for the football event and almost every single event in athletics. It's a good thing and we appreciate their growth."

Taiwo Popoola, Vice President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, echoed these sentiments, attributing the women's success to their dedication.

"The women have done more because they are more committed. Not saying the men aren't, but women are more dedicated and it's the reason they are doing well."

Nigeria's medal hopes in Paris largely rest on the shoulders of athletes like Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Blessing Oborududu, and Odunayo Adekuruoye.

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No pressure, just having fun. One day at a time, one race at a time, no pressure on. When it’s time for Paris, we’ll definitely show up in Paris.

Amusan

Bose Kafo Reflects: The Road to Olympic Success

Despite the optimism surrounding Nigeria's female athletes, some, like Bose Kafo, a five-time Olympian in table tennis, emphasise that participation alone is not enough.

"We have the likes of Tobi Amusan and other ladies competing at the highest level. Nobody will go to the Olympics without being prepared because every step in the games can lift you to another height. The Olympics is the apex for any athlete. So, the men must step up," Kafo insisted.

Kafo also pointed out the challenges in Nigeria's preparation for the Games, noting that winning an Olympic medal requires years of investment and planning.

Investment in the Future

Taiwo Popoola highlighted the need for continued investment in coaches and administrators to enhance Nigeria's performance.

"We must continue to train the administrators so that they can impart good knowledge to the athletes, both men and women. We must avoid the issue of drugs and all."

As the 2024 Paris Games draw near, the spotlight remains firmly on Nigeria's female athletes, who have proven time and again that they are the country's best hope for Olympic success.

Tobi Amusan's Dominance: A World Record Holder

Amusan, in particular, is a standout athlete. She set a world record time of 12.40 seconds in the women's hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2024.

A three-time Diamond League winner, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist, two-time African champion, and three-time African Games gold medalist, Amusan is poised for Olympic glory. 
 

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The Olympics medal is not something you are going to win within three years; you have to invest like six years of hard work. You need to have concrete plans on the ground.

Kafo

Investment in the Future

Taiwo Popoola highlighted the need for continued investment in coaches and administrators to enhance Nigeria's performance.

"We must continue to train the administrators so that they can impart good knowledge to the athletes, both men and women. We must avoid the issue of drugs and all."

As the 2024 Paris Games draw near, the spotlight remains firmly on Nigeria's female athletes, who have proven time and again that they are the country's best hope for Olympic success.

 Alao Oluwasey
Alao OluwaseyiSports Writer

Seyi Alao is a Nigerian sports reporter, writer, and producer, known for delivering engaging sports content in both English and Pidgin. At Brila FM, I transitioned seamlessly into the role of Content Creator, demonstrating a deep understanding of media dynamics and effectively crafting captivating and informative narratives.