In a country where football is the most dominant sport, the interest in athletics is fast growing with more people now beginning to follow the sport keenly.
Athletics records and historic feats achieved by Nigerian athletes in 2022
A detailed compilation of athletics records and historic feats achieved by Nigerian athletes in 2022.
This isn't surprising, as the heroics of some athletes who have evolved into world beaters have changed the image of the sport within the country and globally.
Athletes such as Tobi Amusan reached the peak of her career, while Ese Brume, Favour Ofili, and several others attained historic feats never before seen in Nigeria athletics history.
These feats are results of broken records, first-time achievements in history, and several significant milestones worthy of recognition and pride, which have now ignited a fire amongst Nigerians that can change the sport forever.
On that note, here is a detailed compilation of athletics records and historic feats attained by Nigerian athletes in 2022.
World 100mH Record
One is at a loss of words trying to describe the incredible feat of Tobi Amusan running a World Record (WR) of 12.12s in the 100mH semi-finals, and even a much improved time of 12.06s (2.5) to win the final at the World Championships in Oregon.
Her winning time of 12.06s, though illegal due to the excessive wind reading, is the fastest all-time in all wind conditions, meaning it also stands as a WR, certifying she is the fastest sprint hurdler in history.
Amusan is the first Nigerian and African woman in history to set a WR and be crowned World Champion in the event, meaning no African female athlete in history that has ever competed in the event achieved this feat.
The 25-year-old is also Nigeria’s first World Outdoor Champion, equaled by Olusoji Fasuba’s World Indoor 60m title at Valencia 2008.
The WR also stands as an African Record (AR) and Nigerian Record (NR).
Commonwealth Games Records
At the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Amusan and Ese Brume were the only Nigerian athletes to set a Commonwealth Games Record in their events.
Interestingly, this happened the same day just minutes from each other. Amusan was the first to achieve hers, blazing through the track and hurdles to cross the finish line in 12.30s (-0.2), which smashed the previous GR of 12.65s.
Brume followed suit with her last leap in six-jump attempts, taking down the previous record of 6.99m with a new 7.00m to regain her title from 2014.
Diamond League Trophy
Another first for Amusan, she became the first Nigerian to win not one but two Diamond League trophies in Zurich.
The WR holder successfully defended her Diamond League title from 2021, running a fast 12.29s, shattering the Meeting Record (MR) of 12.40s, to cap off her historic 2022 season.
African 4x100m Record
Asides Amusan’s WR and AR of 12.12s, the women’s 4x100m quartet comprising Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha, also ran an AR of 42.22s for the fourth position at the World Championships in Oregon, which smashed the previous record of 42.39s set at Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
They further took down the record at the Commonwealth Games, this time replacing Udo-Gabriel for Amusan, and they clocked 42.10s for the title.
African Indoor 200m Record
Ofili ran a 200m lifetime best and indoor African Record of 22.46s for victory at the South Eastern Conference Indoor Championships.
Commonwealth Games Discus Champion
Chioma Onyekwere became the first Nigerian athlete to win a Commonwealth Games Discus title. She threw a Season’s Best (SB) of 61.70m for victory in the final, which also saw Obiageri Amechi win the Bronze medal.
Usoro became the first Nigerian jumper in history to compete in both the Long and Triple Jump at the same World Championships.
She qualified for both events at the World Indoor Championships, where she finished eighth in the triple jump, while at the World Outdoor Championships in Oregon, again competed in both events and finished eleventh in the long jump.
African Championships Record
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, threw a Championship Record (CR) of 21.08m to successfully retain his Shot Put title from 2018 at the African Championships in Mauritius.
The NR holder in the event has now won three continental Gold medals, cementing his place as the most dominant athlete in the event since making his debut for Nigeria in 2017.
7.00m jump history
This season, Ese Brume became the first African woman to jump four legal marks over 7.00m. She hit the 7m twice, jumping 7.02m to finish second in Oregon and her victorious GR mark in Birmingham.
NCAA women’s 100m history
The trio of Grace Nwokocha (North Carolina A&T), Rosemary Chukwuma (Texas Tech University), and Ofili (Louisiana State University) ran brilliant times of 10.97s, 10.99s, and 11.08s respectively in their NCAA Championships 100m semis to make the final.
It is the first time in history that three home-grown Nigerian athletes competed in the final of the NCAA event, and the nation had multiple sub-11s runners in a season, having had Ofili clock 10.93s earlier in the year.
Nigerian 200m Record
Ofili erased Blessing Okagbare’s 200m NR of 22.04s with a new time of 21.97s, becoming the first Nigerian female athlete in history to go under the 22s mark.
Nigerian 400mH Record
Nathaniel Ezekiel’s brilliant highlight of the 2022 season was winning the Big12 Championship title for his school Baylor University, clocking a jaw-dropping time of 48.42s, which smashed the school record and Henry Amike’s long-standing National Record (NR) set in 1987.
Nigerian Javelin Throw Record
Nnamdi Chinecherem won the Javelin Throw BIG12 Championships title for his school Baylor University, smashing Pius Bazighe’s long-standing NR of 81.08m set in 1999 with a new 81.22m, thereby becoming the second Nigerian thrower in history over the 80m mark.
Nigerian U20 100m Record
At the World U20 Championships in Cali, Tima Godbless opened her campaign by racing to a lifetime best of 11.09s, which launched her above the number-one spot occupied by Uduak Ekah, on the Nigerian U20 all-time list.
Ekah was the record holder for 23 years following the 11.11s she ran in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1999.
The 18-year-old Godbless has joined Ofili at Louisiana State University on scholarship to continue her education and athletics career.
Nigerian U20 100m Record
Udodi Onwuzuruike surpassed Davidson Ezinwa’s 32-year-old 100m Nigerian Junior Record of 10.05s, with a new lifetime best and record of 10.03s.
It was indeed an historic 2022 season, wasn't it?