#NigeriaAt58: 8 Top Memorable Sports Moments
If there is one thing that has brought much joy and pride to Nigeria 58 years after her independence, it is the giant feats recorded in the sporting world.
From football to athletics and even basketball, Nigeria has recorded several noble feats to savour and be happy about despite the disappointments in the other aspects of our national life.
As part of Bounce Sports’ Independence Special, we bring you 8 Top Memorable Sports Moments for Nigeria in the last 58 years.
Winning The First AFCON Title On Home Soil In 1980
The 1980 African Cup of Nations was the 12th edition of the flagship football event and for the first time Nigeria was opportune to host the rest of Africa.
The then Green Eagles made their home advantage count as they went all the way to win the biggest prize in African football.
With one of the biggest wins ever in an AFCON final, Nigeria whipped Algeria 3-0 to secure their first ever title. The country has added two more titles in 1994 in Tunisia and another one in South Africa in 2013.
Winning The First FIFA Event 1985 (U-16 China 85)
The Baby Eagles (later christened the World Golden Eaglets by the head of state Muhammadu Buhari) put Nigeria on the world map of sports as they won the inaugural edition of the FIFA/KODAK U-16 World Cup in China.
On August 11, 1985, the team defeated West Germany in the 80, 000-capacity Beijing Stadium.
Presently, Nigeria is the most successful team in the U-17 cadre with five titles to her credit
Qualification for the first World Cup in USA
After many years of near misses, the Super Eagles finally qualified for the World Cup in 1994.
The Mundial that year was hosted by the United States and it was quite memorable as the Eagles shocked the world with their performance but narrowly missed on making it as far as the quarter final.
Atlanta 1996 Gold medals
After the historic show in the 1994 World Cup, Nigeria was back in the United States two years after for the Olympics in Atlanta. It turned out to be Nigeria’s best show ever as the country won two gold medals, the first by Chioma Ajunwa in the Long Jump event and then the most coveted football gold.
Enyimba Champions of Africa
While Nigeria commands respect when it comes to national team football same cannot be said at club level where the North Africans clubs often dominate.
However, at of nowhere Enyimba did what no other club from the country has been able to do; winning back-to-back CAF Champions League.
The Aba Landlords are on the verge of making history again this time in the CAF Confederation Cup where they are already in the semifinal stage.
Fastest African Man Is Still A Nigerian!
Nigeria ex-International Olusoji Fasuba, marked his twelfth-year anniversary of setting the current 100m African Record (AR) of 9.85s earlier this year.
The multiple Nigerian Champion ran this time to finish 2nd behind USA’s Justin Gatlin at the 2006 Doha Golden League, thereby breaking the former record of 9.86s set by Namibian Frankie Frederick in 1996.
Fasuba is undoubtedly one of the finest sprinters the Continent has showcased to the world, and one of the greatest athletes Nigeria has produced.
Participation In The Winter Olympics
After several participations in the Summer Olympics, Nigeria broke a new ground as the country made a debut appearance at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games dubbed PyeongChang 2018.
The country featured in the Bobsled and Skeleton events where Seun Adigun led Team Nigeria.
D’Tigress Breaks Records At World cup
Before the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain Nigeria and even Africa have never recorded a win at previous editions of the tournament. However, D’Tigress in Tenerife defeated Turkey (7th), Argentina (15th) and Greece (20th) before setting up a quarter-final clash with defending champions and world number 1, United States of America.
The Ladies finished 8th overall
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