The Olympics 2020 games was shifted to year 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which faced the world last year, Tokyo will welcome participants from all parts of the world to graze the occasion.
In our previous article, we looked at all the 25 medals that the country has gathered between the first ever appearance at the Olympics in 1952.
The first medal was bronze by Boxer Nojim Maiyegun at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics before Chioma Ajunwa at Atlanta 1996 won Nigeria first individual Gold medal in the Long Jump event.
At the same event, Nigeria’s U23 team won Gold in what remains Nigeria’s most successful outing at an Olympic where the country recorded six medals. Nigeria hasn’t had any Olympics event more successful since then.
In fact Nigeria has just a single bronze medal in the last two Olympics. However, the chances of changing the story at the Tokyo Olympics is going to be difficult with the Nigerian Olympic Committee stating that the country will only participate in 10 sports with 84 athletes on parade which is ironically the highest number Nigeria has ever taken to the games.
Olympics 2020: Nigeria Go For Gold Mining in Ten Different Events
Track and Field
The track and field event of the Olympics is one of Nigeria’s fertile grounds at the Olympics in terms of medals.
Nigeria has previously won 13 medals which includes 2 Gold, 5 silver and 6 Bronze medals. However, in Tokyo 2020 Nigeria’s medal drive at the Athletics events
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will see Nigeria’s hope carried by the likes of Blessing Okagbare who won a bronze medal in her first Olympics appearance.
Divine Oduduru who has broken a lot of time records in the 200m and other racing events and has also risen into international prominence quickly.
Tobi Amusan is one of the world best hurdlers at the moment having won Gold at the 100m hurdles at the last commonwealth games.
Ese Brume ended Nigeria’s 6-year wait at the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha Qatar years ago and also the first African athlete (male or female) to defend three successive titles in the Long Jump at the African Championships.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi will fly Nigeria’s flag in shot put and he reached the final of the World Championships in Doha, a replica of such will likely bring in medals.
Raymond Ekevwo is one of the ten Nigerians to have ran sub 10 seconds and that’s good enough to get something at the Olympics.
Usheoritse Itsekiri is one of the three to have secured qualification in the 100m ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Nigeria has a very strong contingent in the table tennis events going into Tokyo Olympics as 5 athletes will be flying the flag of the country in the event which is expected to deliver medals for Nigeria.
She will also be the first ever Nigerian and African woman (across all sports) to compete at seven Olympic Games.
Her doubles partner Segun Toriola who became the first African (male or female) to compete at seven Olympic Games at Rio 2016 will miss the Tokyo Olympics after failing to qualify through the qualifiers at the 2019 African games in Morocco.
However, Edem Offiong and Olajide Omotayo are quality tennis players who can assist and add to the team in their bid to secure their dance at the tournament.
Sadly, the veteran has never won a medal at the Olympics and neither has Nigeria in Tennis events.
Nigeria will have highest ranked African Table Tennis Player in the world Aruna Quadri available as well, the 21st ranked player in the world will play at the Olympics due to his ranking.
Nigeria has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis event.
Nigeria has a strong hold in the mixed martial arts event but never has a medal been recorded from wrestling at the Olympics.
However, with World No.2 in the 57kg women’s category, Odunayo Adekuoroye is capable of bringing in at least a bronze medal but nothing is certain yet.
She qualified for the Olympics after picking an early winning a Bronze medal at 2019 Senior World Wrestling Championships held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
She has won Gold medals at the Commonwealth games twice same as Aminat Adeniyi who has two Gold medals at the Commonwealth games too.
Blessing Obordudu is another bright talent who can bring in the medals for the country.
Ekerekeme Agiomor (86kg), Aminat Adeniyi 62kg and Adijat Idris 50kg are also contenders for medals after qualifying for the Olympics last month.
Nigeria will have a single Judoka at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Enku Ekuta interestingly becomes the first woman, since her mother Catherine Ekuta in 2004, to qualify for the event at Olympics.
She comes from a family that has a deep history in judo as her mother Catherine and father both fought judo in their days.
The 22 year-old shoulders the sole responsibility of getting Nigeria a first-ever medal in the sports.
Also in taekwondo Nigeria’s be to win a medal be carried by a single individual in-person of Elizabeth Anyanacho and she will be hoping to emulate Chika Chukwumerije who won Nigeria’s only metal in taekwondo in the history of the Olympics.
Several Nigerian Badminton players missed the opportunity to play the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the Badminton federation of Nigeria failed to secure their Visas.
While it is reported that Nigeria will compete in Badminton at the Olympics it is unclear how the athletes qualified.
Male and Female Basketball
Nigeria’s profile in Basketball has risen considerably in recent years and at the Tokyo Olympics it will be the first time both the Male and female teams will be participating.
The D’Tigers will be playing in the third straight Olympics while the D’Tigress are making their debut. Nigeria has no previous medal in basketball.
Nigeria is expected to take part on the weightlifting event of the Olympics but with the covid-19 scuttling qualifications competitions in 2020, the state of qualified athletes is still sketchy.
Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing
Nigeria’s minister for youth and sports Sunday Dare revealed that the country will be participating in Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing at the Olympics. The first time ever.
The Qualifications tournament is holding in Switzerland as at the time of filing this article.