Birmingham 2022: Nigerian Women on Fire!

Nigeria has never had it so good in any multi sports competition in recent memory, as in the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Thanks to our women, Nigeria emerged the top African country ahead of South Africa and Kenya – two countries that have always been in front because of their world-known dominance in Swimming and Long Distance races respectively.

When the games closed in Birmingham, Nigeria had gathered 35 medals, 22 of them won by the women in varied sports ranging from Track & Field, Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Table Tennis and Powerlifting.

In fact, Nigeria emerged quite dominant in weightlifting, wrestling as well as field events like discuss and shot putt.

Golden girl Tobi Amusan did not disappoint her admirers as she not only set a new games record in her specialty, the 100 metres hurdles, but she also took the first leg in the women 4×100 metres relay where the team won the gold, making her the only Nigerian athlete to win two gold medals in the games. Another female athlete, Favour Ofili, also won two medals – a gold in the same sprint relay and silver in the 200 metres.

The two ladies won the hearts of many, just like Ese Brume did with gold in the Long Jump and the other ladies who won gold to make the country and its citizens proud.

In some events, our ladies dominance was so palpable that they either came first and second for gold and silver or first and third for gold and bronze, as in women’s discus, where Chioma Onyekwere came first, while another Nigerian, Obiageri Amaechi was third on the 5th day of the Games. Onyekwere made history as the first Nigerian to win gold in the discus event at any Commonwealth Games when she threw a season best of 61.70m to claim first place. Her compatriot, Amaechi won the bronze medal in the event with a throw of 56.99m.

In Powerlifting heavyweight, Folashade Oluwafemiayo won Gold and Bose Omolayo won the Silver medal in same event. In fact, Nigeria only competed in three Powerlifting events at the games but came out winning 4 medals, including two from male lifters Ikechukwu Obichukwu and Innocent Nnamdi.

Other female gold medalists include Blessing Oborodudu and Odunayo Adekuoroye in wrestling.

Although no male athlete won gold, they did their best in several areas where it was clear there were technical deficiencies which would have been taken care of if there were good facilities available.

Two athletes who came painful 4th positions in their events were Chukwuebuka Enekwachi in the men’s Shot Put and Oyesade Olatoye in the women’s Hammer Throw. You could see that these were athletes who had prepared well for their events but met other very well prepared opponents.

It is tempting to ask why the disparity in the performance of the women and men. Is there something one side is doing that the other is not doing? We did not hear of any issue of non-payment of allowances during these games. Did the officials perform or did the sportsmen and women decide to focus this time on their tasks and hope officials play theirs?

The relay team of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha

The total medals won by Nigeria at the Games in Birmingham is 35, made up of 12 Gold, 9 Silver and 14 Bronze.

All the 12 Gold medals were won by female athletes, and this include the relay Gold which counts as one, although the four sprinters – Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha had theirs put round their necks.

Blessing Oborududu was winning her second Commonwealth Gold medal, just like her counterpart Odunayo Adekuoroye, while first timer Mercy Genesis also won wrestling Gold.

In the end, Nigeria finished 7th in the overall medals table out of 75 participating countries and 1st in Africa; it is the country’s all-time best performance in the Commonwealth Games. The athletes also set five records, made up of four Commonwealth Games Records and one World Record, all by the women.

So Nigerian women were on fire during the games.

This is the full list of Nigeria’s medal winners at Birmingham 2022:


  1. Olarinoye Adenike Adijat – Gold in the women’s 55kg Weightlifting
  2. Tobi Amusan – Gold in women’s 100m hurdles
  3. Ese Brume – Gold in women’s Long Jump
  4. Elizabeth Oshoba – Silver women boxing over 54kg-57kg Featherweight
  5. Rafiatu Folashade Lawal – Bronze in women’s 59kg Weightlifting
  6. Islamiyat Adebukola – Bronze in women’s 64kg Weightlifting
  7. Taiwo Laidi – Silver in women’s 76kg Weightlifting
  8. Mary Taiwo Osijo – Bronze in women’s 87kg Weightlifting
  9. Chioma Onyekwere – Gold in women’s Discus
  10. Obiageri Amechi – Bronze in women’s Discus
  11. Goodness Chiemerie Nwachukwu – Gold in women’s F42 Discus
  12. Folashade Oluwafemiayo – Gold in women’s Heavyweight Powerlifting
  13. Bose Omolayo – Silver in women’s Heavyweight Powerlifting
  14. Odunayo Adekuoroye – Gold in women’s 57kg Freestyle Wrestling
  15. Blessing Oborududu – Gold in women’s 68kg Freestyle Wrestling
  16. Esther Kolawole – Bronze in women’s 62kg freestyle wrestling
  17. Eucharia Iyiazi – Gold in women’s F55-57 Shot Put
  18. Ugochi Alam – Bronze in women’s F55-57 Shot Put
  19. Faith Obazuaye – Bronze women’s Singles Classes 6-10 Para Table Tennis
  20. Miesinnei Mercy Genesis – Gold in women’s Wrestling Freestyle 50kg
  21. Cynthia Ogunsemilore – Bronze in the women’s Boxing Lightweight
  22. Hannah Rueben – Silver medal in the 76kg women’s Wrestling
  23. Jacinta Umunnakwe – Bronze in the Women’s Middleweight event.
  24. Ifechukwude Christiana Ikpeoyi – Silver in Women’s Para Table Tennis
  25. Favour Ofili – Silver in women’s 200m
  26. Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha – Gold in women’s 4x100m relay


  1. Edidiong Joseph Umoafia – Bronze in men’s 67kg Weightlifting
  2. Innocent Nnamdi – Bronze in men’s Lightweight Powerlifting
  3. Ikechukwu Obichukwu – SIlver in medal in men’s Heavyweight Powerlifting
  4. Ebikewenimo Welson – Silver in men’s Freestyle 57kg Wrestling
  5. Ogbonna John – Bronze in the men’s Freestyle 74kg Wrestling
  6. Ogunkunle Isau – Bronze in Men’s Singles Classes 3-5 Para Table Tennis
  7. Nasiru Sule – Silver in Men’s Singles Classes 3-5 Para Table Tennis
  8. Ifeanyi Onyekwere – Bronze in men’s boxing Super-heavyweight
  9. Udodi Onwuzuruike, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola, Raymond Ekevwo – Bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay

Messages of congratulations have been pouring in for the team, some of whom have become household names not only in Nigeria but in the whole of the sporting world.

Powerlifting medal duo of Folashade Oluwafemiayo who won Gold and Bose Omolayo for Silver

Has this 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games team re-ignited a torch that will bring back the golden days of sports in Nigeria? Or is this just a flash in the pan? What should be done by the relevant agencies, organisations and sponsors to sustain this momentum?  Can the men’s team be prepared so that they can do better next time? The time to plan for the future is now.


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