The International Women’s Day is marked on February 8 of every year, to celebrate women’s contributions to society, and bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women, and to call for radical change in the treatment of women globally.
It is also a day set aside to commend the social, economic, cultural, and political impacts of women across the globe.
As the world marks this year’s edition of IWD, The PUNCH highlights seven outstanding Nigerian women in the world of sports:
1. Tobi Amusan
Tobi Amusan focuses on 100 metres as a track and field athlete.
In 2022, she became the first ever Nigerian world champion and world record holder in the World Athletics Championships when she won the 100 m hurdles gold medal, setting the current world record of 12.12 seconds in the semi-final, followed up by a wind-assisted 12.06 s in the final.
The record of the Ijebu Ode indigene became motivation and inspiration for many, while she received commendation across the globe for her brilliant performance.
2. Favour Ofili
Favour Ofili, a 20-year-old Nigerian athlete has represented the country in several local and international sports events.
She won her first individual medal after racing to silver in the final of women’s 200m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In the race, Ofili clocked a time of 22.51s, putting some daylight between her and Namibia’s Christine Mboma who was trailing with full speed, trying to close the gap on her African rival.
She is a Commonwealth games winner, All-African Games Silver medalist. She has also emerged top eight at World Championships.
Oshoala is a Nigerian female footballer who broke into limelight when she became the Most Valuable Player and top scorer in the 2014 Women’s U-20 World Cup, as Nigeria finished runners-up to Germany.
In 2015, Oshoala was named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Oshoala plays for the Super Falcons of Nigeria and as a striker for FC Barcelona in Spain.
She is described as one of the greatest African female footballers of all time and one of the best in the world.
Oshoala has a record of winning African Women’s Footballer of the Year five times. 351
4. Mary Osijo
Mary Osijo is also one of the outstanding athletes Nigeria has produced.
Mary, a weightlifter competed in the 87 kg category and represented Nigeria at international competitions.
In August 2022, she won bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Osijo clinched the Bronze medal in the Women’s 87 kg Weightlifting event, lifting a combined total weight of 225 kg from Snatch, Clean & Jerk.
Osijo had an unblemished series, lifting all attempts she made in both categories, and deservedly won the Bronze medal.
The 25-year-old represented Nigeria at the 2014 All African Games Trial and won gold. She also won a gold and two silver at the Edo State Sports Festival in 2020.
5. Chiamaka Nnadozie
Nnadozie is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Paris FC in the French Division 1 Féminine and the Nigeria national team.
At age 19, Nnadozie was named to the Super Falcons to compete at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
As Nigeria’s starting goalkeeper in the team’s 2–0 victory over Korea, Nnadozie became the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the World Cup.
Nnadozie was nominated for the 2021/2022 UNFP trophy of the best goalkeeper award in the D1 Arkema league.
6. Desire Oparanozie
Desire Oparanozie is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a forward in the Chinese Women’s Super League for Wuhan Jianghan University and the Nigerian national team with many years of experience.
The Super Falcons player is popular for her fast pace and strong physique that have propelled her to become a great striker.
She has been a regular member of the Nigerian national team since 2010, participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011, 2015, and 2019.
She has also participated in the African Women’s Championship of 2010 and 2014, 2016 and 2018, winning all four tournaments. She scored crucial goals in both the 2014 and 2016 finals.
7. Odunayo Adekuoroye
Adekuoroye is a Nigerian wrestler who competed in the women’s freestyle 53 kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she won a gold medal.
She also won a bronze medal in the 2015 World Wrestling Championships.
The 28-year-old Ondo-born wrestler claimed her third successive Commonwealth Games gold in 2022 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
She won the prestigious medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018.