Ten of Nigeria's greatest sporting achievements

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Nigeria has achieved a number of notable sporting achievements across several sporting codes over the last three decades. 
In a country with a population of close to 200 million people, most would argue that they are one of the sleeping giants of world sports and that they should've achieved much more by now. While this statement is undoubtedly correct, that isn't taking away from the already great achievements accomplished by the country over the years. 
Herewith are TEN of Nigeria's greatest sporting achievements since 1990: 

Super Falcons dominate women's football in Africa 

The Nigeria women's football team, fondly known as the Super Falcons, have enjoyed unrivalled success on the African continent since winning the first instalment of the Africa Women Cup of Nations in 1991. 
Since then, they have won 11 of the 13 continental tournaments over the last three decades including the last three tournaments; securing victory with a penalty shootout win over South Africa at the latest showpiece hosted in Ghana. 

Golden Eagles dominate world football 

Nigeria's U17 men's football team have won five FIFA U17 World Cup tournaments, four since 1991 when the tournament's age limit was shifted from 16 years to 17 years of age.

The Golden Eagles are the most successful team in the history of the youth tournament with their fifth and most recent victory coming in 2015 when goals from Victor Osimhen and Funsho Bamgboye spearheaded Nigeria to a 2-0 win over Mali in the final. 

Super Eagles ranked 5th in the world 

Fresh after winning the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations title, with a brace from Emmanuel Amuneke leading the Super Eagles to a 2-1 win over Zambia, Nigeria soared up to 5th in the FIFA rankings. 
Until today, that is the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African men's football team. 

Chioma Ajunwa wins gold in Atlanta 

To date, Ajunwa remains Nigeria's only individual Olympic gold medalist. 
At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, she made history for her nation by coming first in the women's long jump with a leap of 7.12m - achieved on her first jump in the final. 

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Football gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics 

At the time, few would've predicted Nigeria would go all the way at the Olympic Games hosted in Atlanta, but against all odds and in spectacular fashion the Dream Team would claim gold at Sanford Stadium. 
Nigeria came from behind to beat both Brazil and Argentina in the semifinal and final respectively, with Emmanuel Amuneke netting a late winner in the showpiece to make history for the West African nation. 

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Paralympics success 

Over the last 28 years since making their debut at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Nigeria has won 70 Paralympic medals (36 gold, 18 silver, 16 bronze).

Three athletes have won five medals each: Adeoye Ajibola, Eucharia Iyiazi and Lucy Ejike. Nigeria's most successful medal haul came at the 2000 Olympic Games hosted in Sydney when they scooped 13 medals. 

4x400m success in Sydney 

Nigeria's third and most recent gold medal at the Summer Olympics came at the 2000 showpiece in Sydney, Australia.

The quartet of Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, Sunday Bada and Enefiok Udo-Obong finished second, but were eventually awarded the gold medal following the United State of America's disqualification. 

Samuel Peter wins WBC heavyweight title 

Peter won the WBC heavyweight title following a TKO victory over Oleg Maskaev in 2008. 
During his prime, Peter was one of the most devastating boxers in his division and well known for his rivalry with the famous Klitschko brothers.

2013 Africa Cup of Nations 

The Super Eagles won their third and most recent Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa seven years ago.

Led by the inspirational Stephen Keshi from the sidelines, Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium in the final. Keshi also won the 1994 Afcon as a player. 

FIBA Africa Championship success  

The Nigeria men's basketball team beat Angola at the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship (AfroBasket) to clinch their first and to date, only title. 
The Nigeria Women's team are the defending champions having defended their crown in Senegal last year. In total, they have won four AfroBasket gold medals. 

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Published: 04/23/2020