By Victoria Ita
They did not just stop at winning the African Cup of Nations 2013: Nigeria were one of only two African nations to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup; and maintained their top ten status at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
After Nigeria’s success in the African Cup of Nations 2013, going from failing to qualify the previous year to winning the tournament, the national football team continued to go from strength to strength. Nigeria gave a strong showing at the FIFA 2014 World Cup, qualifying from the knockout stages after a spirited performance against eventual finalists Argentina. The Super Eagles demonstrated an unflinching determination and passion. As well as their willingness to go above and beyond their parameters to provide an outstanding outcome, some may even call them perfectionists.
More recently, the Nigerian athletics teams won 36 medals at the Commonwealth Games, ranking in 8th position, just behind South Africa, with 11 Gold, 11 Silver and 14 Bronze medals.
There is one athlete, Blessing Okagbare, who is no stranger to us, previously winning a Bronze medal in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, China, in Women’s Long Jump. Okagbare was amongst the athletes representing Nigeria in the 4×100 metres relay, winning a Silver medal. She went on to win double gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres final which was a delightful achievement; something which is very much worth remembering as she broke the 100m African Women’s Record, which was previously held by her. In addition to beating the Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished in fourth place, Okagbere is an athlete we should definitely be looking out for in future athletic competitions, as well as the big Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016! C’MON TEAM NIGERIA!