In celebration of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary today (Thursday, October 1, 2020), Complete Sports takes a look at 15 Golden moments in the country’s sports, taking into consideration landmark performances at the world and Olympic stages…
Dick Tiger (November 30, 1960)
Nigeria’s boxer, Dick Tiger won the Middleweight Championship of the British Empire by beating Canada’s Wilf Greaves by knock out in the ninth round.
Tiger beat America’s Gene Fullmer in San Francisco to become the WBA champion in 1962. In 1963, he became the WBC Middleweight champion and retained his WBA belt after beating Gene Fullman by knockout in the seventh round at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan.
And in 1965, Dick Tiger regained his WBC and WBA belts which he had lost on December 7, 1963 to Joey Giardello at Atlantic City, New Jersey. He beat Giardello in New York to regain his crowns.
Chioma Ajunwa (Athletics)
Policewoman Ajunwa made history as the first and so far only Nigerian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics.The former national football player achieved the feat 24 years ago in Atlanta,Georgia,USA where her incredible 7.12m leap in her very first jump in the event fetched her the indelible gold.She also became in the process the first Nigerian nay African woman to hit the 7m mark in the event and the first black woman to win a field event medal at the quadrennial games.
Golden Eaglets (August 11, 1985)
Nigeria beat Germany 2-0 to win the inaugural FIFA Under 16 Tournament in China. It is the first time a team outside Europe and South Africa will win a major global event.
On September 4, 1993, the Golden Eaglets beat Ghana 2-1 in the final in Japan to win the FIFA Under -17 World Cup for the second time.
On September 9, 2007, the Golden Eaglets beat Spain 3-0 (penalty shoot-out) in the final to win the FIFA Under -17 World Cup in Korea which was their third.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup, UAE 2013 proved to be another celebration of football for Nigeria as the Golden Eaglets overcame Mexico 3-0 in the final on 8 November, 2013 to claim their fourth trophy.
In 2015, Nigeria became the first country to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup for a fifth time in Chile after beating fellow West African nation, Mali 2-0 in the final.
Wellington Jighere (Scrabble)
Wellington Jighere, born in 1982 in Umolo-Olomu, Delta State is a professional Nigerian scrabble player who won the inaugural
WESPA Championship in 2015 to become the first African player to be crowned World Scrabble Champion.
He defeated Lewis MacKay in four straight wins. The 38-year-old is also a two-time African Scrabble Championship winner (2008 & 2010) and came third at the World Scrabble Championships in 2007.
Sunday Bada (Athletics)
Bada won Nigeria’s first global individual track and field title in 1997.He won the 400m title at the 6th IAAF World Indoor
Championships held inside the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris, France.The Policeman,now late ran a new 45.51 Nigerian and African record to win the gold.
Olusoji Fasuba (Athletics)
Sprinter Olusoji Fasuba is the second Nigerian track and field athlete to win a global world title.Fasuba won the 60m indoor title at the 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships held inside the Velódromo Luis Puig in Valencia, Spain in 2008.The Ekiti state born African 100m record holder ran a world leading time of 6.51 seconds to become the first Nigerian nay African man to win the 60m title in the history of the championships.
U-23 Dream Team (August 3, 1996)
Nigeria win the gold medal of the football event of the Atlanta ’96 Olympics. It is the first time a team
outside Europe will do that in 68 years. Nigeria also put an end to Europe’s successive victory. Since, no European team has won.
4x400m Relay Team (Athletics)
Nigeria’s 1600 relay quartet of Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, Sunday Bada and Enefiok Udo-Obong won a historic gold medal on the eve of Nigeria’s 50th anniverssay 20 years ago in Sydney, Australia.Although it was a silver medal at the time, Nigeria got
upgraded to gold in 2004 after the disqualification of USA when of their relay quartet, Jerome Young tested posititve for performance enhancing substances.
The disqualification was annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in 2005 because Young ran only in the semifinals.In June 2008,another memeber of the team, Antonio Pettigrew “admitted in U.S. court that he breached the rules” by using banned performance-enhancing substances, and agreed to return his gold medal.The IOC
subsequently upgraded Nigeria to gold and on 12 July 2012, the IOC confirmed the medal reallocation.
Oliver Orok (Weightlifting)
Orok won the gold medal in the snatch at the 1984 World Weightlifting Championships lifting 172.5 kg.
Hogan “Kid” Bassey MBE (Boxing)
The first Nigerian to become a world boxing champion. Bassey won the World Featherweight crown by defeating French Algerian Cherif Hamia in Paris in 1957.
Richard ‘Dick Tiger’ Ihetu (Boxing)
Dick Tiger won the world middleweight title when he beat Gene Fullmer in 1962 and the light heavyweight title in 1966 when he dethroned José Torres of Puerto Rico.
Samuel Okon Peter (Boxing)
Peter, nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare” won the WBC heavyweight title in March 2008 after knocking out Oleg Maskaev.
Onoriode ‘Godzilla’ Ehwarieme (Boxing)
Ehwarieme emerged the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental heavyweight title champion after he defeated his Argentine opponent, Ariel “Chiquito” Baracamonte, at GOtv Boxing Night 20 in December, 2019.
Bashiru Ali (Boxing)
The ageless boxer won the World Boxing Federation cruiser-weight title on September 9, 2000 knocking out the then champion, Terry Ray of USA. He then retained the WBF cruiserweight title again in August 2004.
Davidson Andeh (Boxing)
Andeh won the world title in the lightweight division (–60 kg) at the second World Amateur Championships, held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1978 after defeating USSR’s Vladimir Sorokin in the final.
Ijeoma “The Praise” Egbunine (Boxing)
Nigerian female professional boxer, Egbunine was the WIBF light-heavyweight world champion in 2006.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com. How I make $10,000 monthly in Online SALES? apply the *Social Media Marketing Strategy* and watch your account balance swell. Buy eBook NOW!!!