Team Nigeria may have had the most disappointing outing at the Tokyo Olympics so far and maybe the unluckiest as well, but it is not all doom and gloom yet for the West Africans.
Nigeria’s best outing at an Olympics game was at Atlanta96 where Team Nigeria had 2 Gold 1 Silver and 3 Bronze medals, while this sounds extremely impossible to replicate in Tokyo, there are still hopes for team Nigeria to get medals in some events.
While there might be a lot of skepticism about this with the ban on Blessing Okagbare, disqualification of ten Athletes for not undergoing Out-of-competition tests, and disqualification of Divine Oduduru from the 100m Heats, here are some of the Athletes that can give Nigeria something to cheer about before the end of the games on August 8.
Tokyo 2020: Team Nigeria Gold Medal May Come From These Events
Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itsekiri
Event: Athletics. 100M
Nigeria’s hopes of winning a medal in the women’s 100m sprint were dashed when Blessing Okagbare was banned and Grace Nwokocha failed to qualify for the finals.
However, Divine Oduduru was disqualified for a controversial false start in the men’s 100m but there is still a big hope as Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri found their way into the Semifinals with an impressive time.
Enoch Adegoke won his heart beating Treyvon Bromell, and European Champion Zharnel Hughes with a time of 9.98s which is his personal best.
Usheoritse Itsekiri didn’t win his heat but his third-place finish in his heat with a 10.15s was enough to see him into Sunday’s semi-final.
Usheoritse Itsekiri will face Yohan Blake, Andre De Grasse & Fred Kerley in heat 1 while Meanwhile in Heat 2 of men’s 100m semis, Enoch Adegoke races for the finals with Femi Ogunode and Trayvon Bromell.
Both athletes are in their debut Olympics and will be hoping to get Nigeria’s first piece of metal.
Event: 100m hurdles
Tobi Amusan finished in the semi-final at the Rio2016 Olympics, this year she starts her qualification on Sunday in Tokyo as one of the top 5 female hurdlers in the world.
Going into the Tokyo games as Africa number 1 gives Team Nigeria hope of a medal but she has Yanique Thompson and Christina Clemons to face.
Event: Long Jump
Ese Brume has erased Chioma Ajunwa’s long jump record of 7.12m in 1996 with a 7.17m leap earlier in March this year.
Ese Brume won Gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, All Africa Games, and also a Bronze medal at the World Championship in Doha Qatar in 2019.
Odunayo Adekuroye, Ekerekeme Agiomor
Odunayo Adekuoroye and Ekerekeme will compete for Nigeria at the wrestling events in two different categories in the women’s and men’s events respectively.
The wrestling for Adekuroye will only start on the 4th of August with a round of 16 fights having won a bronze medal in 2019 at the World Championships making her huge potential for a medal.
Ekerekeme Agiomor who is Nigeria’s only male wrestler in Tokyo will be participating in the men’s 86kg. While expectations are not high for a medal from Ekerekeme, he is capable of causing an upset.
Just like Esther Toko in Rowing, Bello goes into Olympics Canoeing with the expectations more on gathering experience than winning a medal as she rows early Sunday morning.