Nigerians flying the Olympic flag for other nations
Great Britain is leaving nothing to chance in its quest to host and top the medals table at the London 2012 Olympics hence the reason behind presenting 541 athletes for the Games. However, as revealed by NigerianWebRadio, 16 of the athletes have Nigerian background and could have been flying the green and white flag at the Games, if it were possible, writes KAZEEM BUSARI
Interestingly, these athletes, who were either born in Nigeria or have Nigerian parents, are very vital to the medal hopes of the host nation.
Born in 1987 to Nigerian parents, Akintola and Abosede. He grew up in Loughborough, England and will feature for Great Britain in the 100 metres and 4x100m relay. His 100m win at the European Athletics permit meet in Geneva last month placed him among the top European sprinters for the first time. His new personal best time of 10.09 seconds made him joint second, with Simeon Williamson, in the season's 100 m European rankings. He has twice come close to beating European champion Dwayne Chambers at major events in recent time.
He is currently the UK's 800m Champion and British No.1 on merit. In February 2011, he replaced Sebastian Coe as third on the UK All-time list for 1000 metres indoors and moved to 5th on the UK All-time list for 800m indoors. He won bronze at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
20-year-old Okoye is the British record holder in discus with 68.24 metres throw at the Hallesche Werfertage Meeting in May 2012. He had a promising career as a junior rugby player until September 2010 when he fully turned to discus. He won gold at the 2011 European Athletics U-23 Championships in July last year. His father is a Nigerian entrepreneur and mother a Home Office official.
The 33-year-old triple jumper was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in Hackney, in East London. He is the 2009 world champion, the 2008 World Indoor champion and reigning 2010 EAA European champion. He won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and silver at the Beijing Olympics.
Born in Nigeria on the June 26, 1982, Buhari is a British athlete who competes in the discus throw. He started as a 400m runner but injury forced him to change to discus throwing in 2002. He has had 50 podium finishes since turning to discus for nine years and during that times he has had over 50. His personal best of 65.44m placed him third in the All-time British history breaking club record and climbing to top 25 ranked athlete in the world.
The 32-year-old was born in Westminster and runs the 100m and 200m. She won the 4x100m gold and silver in the 200m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
The 27-year-old specialises in the 100 and 200 metres, and also the 4Ã-100 metres relay. She is the sister of former footballer, Iffy Onuora, who recently managed the Ethiopia national football team. She won silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Born in April, 1985, Adeoye will compete in the 200m. She qualified for the Olympics with her personal best of 23.09 seconds in the qualifying heat in June. She eventually won the event on the same day.
She is a Beijing Olympics gold medallist in the 400m born to Igbo parents in Newham, East London. She has gold and bronze at the World Championships and also gold in 4x400m at the 2012 World Indoors Championships in Istanbul. She won gold in the 2012 Diamond League.
Okoro will compete in the 4x400m. The 28-year-old is a bronze medallist at the 2007 World Championship in Osaka, Japan; she also won silver at the 2011 European Indoor Championships in Paris.
Born in Lagos but moved with her family to Birmingham when she was one year old. Since she grew up in England, she chose to represent England at international level. She's a member of the English Olympic Football team and a sister to Super Eagles players Omatsone Aluko.
Another member of the Britsh Olympic football team is Ifeoma Dieke who was actually born in Massachusetts, USA to Nigerian parents Ken and Edith Dieke in 1981. She moved to Scotland when she was three years old.
Born to Nigerian father, Tunde and mother Buki, Temi 19 year old Temi Fagbenle was among a group of 12 players who were selected to represent Great Britain in the women's basketball competition at the Olympics.
His fullname is Anthony Osezua Ogogo. He will represent Britain in Boxing, fighting in the 75kg Middleweight category. He is half Nigerian half British, born to an English mother and Nigerian father.
Also representing Britain in boxing. His parents are of Nigerian descent. grew up in Watford, but moved to London aged 14, to live with his aunt, having spent six months in boarding school in Nigeria.
In men's volleyball team, there are Dami Bakare and Peter Bakare. Not clear whether or not both are related. While Dami was born Kaduna, Nigeria. Peter was born in London.