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AFN President Okowa Excited With Team Nigeria’s Historic Commonwealth Performance

Chief Tonobok Okowa, Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission
Chief Tonobok Okowa, Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission

August 08, (THEWILL) – Tonobok Okowa, the president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was ecstatic on Sunday, after the gold rush helped Team Nigeria achieve an all-time best-ever record at the Commonwealth Games, saying it left him feeling “on top of the world.”

The women’s 4x100m relay team of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha, won a historic gold medal. Ese Brume also set a new Games record in the long jump, bringing Team Nigeria’s total gold medals to 12, the most in the country’s history of Commonwealth competition.

It took 28 years for the nation to win another gold medal in the women’s 4x100m relay. The quartet broke the African record, which had only been in place for a month, by running 42.10 seconds, which they achieved in style on July 23, at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

In 1994, in Victoria, Canada, Nigeria won its first gold medal in the event. The winning time was a then-games record of 42.99 seconds, set by the team of Faith Idehen, Mary Tombiri, Christy Opara-Thompson, and Mary Onyali. Four years earlier, in Auckland, New Zealand, the foursome of Beatrice Utondu, Fatima Yusuf, Charity Opara, and Chioma Ajunwa, earned the nation’s first real 4x100m relay medal—a bronze one.

Amusan won two gold medals in quick succession following the previous day’s 100m hurdles gold for a Games’ Record with the relay victory. Ese Brume contributed the final shining moment with a leap of 7.00m in her final jump to take the country’s gold medal haul to 12 for the first time in Commonwealth Games participation history.