Sprint sensation, Blessing Okagbare was Nigeria’s flag bearer as the 2018 Commonwealth Games events rolled out in Gold Coast, Australia.
Nigeria is represented by 90 athletes accompanied by 45 and they will participate in 9 events including Athletics, Basketball, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Boxing, Table Tennis, Special Sports and Gymnastics.
Okagbare recently broke the African 200m record held for 22 years by Mary Onyayi-Omagbemi, however, she has not been registered for the sprints. She will run the women 4x100m.
The Commonwealth Games has been a good hunting ground for Nigerian sports men and women, however, it remained to be seen how they will cope with other athletes from the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth who have been better prepared.
Nigeria participated in the Games for the first time in 1950 in Auckland, New Zealand and made her presence felt in a huge way as Joshua Majekodunmi won the very first medal for the country in the High Jump.
The following edition in 1954 in Vancouver, Canada produced the country’s first double medallist as Karim Ayinla Babalola Olowu won a silver and a bronze medal as well as Emmanuel Ifeajuna who won Nigeria’s first gold medal at the Games courtesy of his 2.03m height in the high jump event.