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African Games Records: When Was The Last Time Nigeria Won Gold?

Nigerian tennis followers and enthusiasts are presently torn between different emotions ahead of the tennis event at the 13th All African Games holding in Accra, Ghana.

They are either conceding defeat before the Games start or are hinging their hopes on the recent brilliance of Nigeria’s current crop of players..

Nigeria’s biggest chances of getting any medal at the Games this year rests on the abilities of all the players to step up their games and put up a fight against their opponents.

While trusting Nigerians to give their opponents tough times at the competition, Nigerians also know that their competitors are not push overs with many of them being among the best on the continent.

And despite the firm belief that the country still has some firepower to ensure we return from the Games with the ultimate medal, we will still have to travel back in time for the last time this happened.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Bulus Hits Highest ATP Ranking Ahead Of African Games

It has been 21 years since the National Anthem was sung at the African Games because a Nigerian tennis player won gold medal in a Singles event. Full credit to Clara Udofa for making us proud at the Abuja Games 2003.

However, as ‘recently’ as 13 years ago, the Nigerian duo of Clifford Enosoregbe and Onyeka Mbanu, in far away Maputo, Mozambique, made Nigeria proud by winning gold at the African Games.

Team Nigeria to Maputo

They achieved this feat by defeating the Nigerian pair of Candy Idoko and Lawal Shehu which means that Nigeria returned home with the Doubles Gold and Silver medals.

While the medals were expected to propel a new generation of unbeatable Nigerian players on the continent, it seemed to have doused the rising flame of would-be world-class, grand slam worthy tennis superstars from the giants of Africa.

READ ALSO: Oyinlomo Quadre: What Playing At The 2024 Olympics Will Mean To Me

In the midst of the seeming darkness beclouding tennis in Nigeria, however, there is still a faint light, a glimmer of hope and there seems to be light beckoning at the end of the tunnel.

At the Morocco Games in 2019, a certain 16-year-old teenager, Oyinlomo Quadre, alongside the delectable Adesuwa Osabuohien led Nigeria to the medals zone, winning bronze in the Women’s Team event, Nigeria’s only tennis medal at the Games.

And five years later, a much more experienced and mature Quadre believes this is the time for Nigeria to go one more than the previous years, the gold is the target.

Divine Nweke

She also has her compatriots, Divine Nweke and captain fantastic Osabuohien to help with the charge for gold.

The motivation ahead of the 2023 Games is even stronger, and the belief even firmer, that Nigeria will, perhaps, clinch gold and qualify to play at the Olympics later this year.

Christopher Bulus, Nigeria’s only player on the ATP ranking, has been rising non-stop in the past few months, and this was evident in how he helped Nigeria’s Davis Cup team qualify for the Group III.

READ ALSO: Ekpenyong: Nigeria’s No. 1 Player Ruled Out Of African Games

Asides Bulus’s breathtaking abilities, Wilson Igbinovia and Uche Oparaoji, both of whom Nigerians hailed for ensuring the promotion from Group IV, are also players expected to ensure Nigeria returns from Accra, Ghana, with gold.

While the Ministry of Sports, the body in charge of the African Games, is yet to release the official list of players that will represent Nigeria in Ghana, hopes are mounting that whoever the coaches recommend to don the green and white jersey will be worth the wait.

Beyond all of these, however, tennis fans, enthusiasts, stakeholders, juniors, parents, officials, et al, are patiently waiting for Nigeria to return from Ghana, with a gold medal, and a qualification for the Olympics for the first time ever.


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