Chioma Onyekwere became the first Nigerian woman in history to win a GOLD medal in the Discus at the Commonwealth Games, inspiring a 1-3 finish for her country as Obiageri Amechi also got on the podium, clinching the Bronze medal in this event.
The two medals are the first set of medals Nigeria will be winning in Athletics at the ongoing Games in Birmingham, laying a good foundation for what promises to be a very good Day 2 (Athletics), with so many finals lined.
Having been winning multiple continental titles, this is the first title Onyekwere will be winning outside Africa. The reigning African champion threw a Season’s Best (SB) of 61.70m to usurp England’s who led with her first round throw of 57.33m
The African champion was trailing after three attempts, and although she was in a medal position in 2nd place, it was evident that she could sense an opening was coming. It did come and she grabbed the opportunity, heaving out the implement a long and hard to land the implement to a new SB.
Her performance inspired Amechi too, and she threw something big as well, moving from 7th place into third which she held on to, leaving the competition with a medal.
This was more or less a repeat of what happened at the African Championships in Mauritius, where both Onyekwere and Amechi finished 1st and 3rd respectively. For Onyekwere, she would have some respite owing to her Tokyo Olympics disappointment, not competing having been one of the 10 athletes disqualified for Team Nigeria.
Meanwhile in Weightlifting, Nigeria ended its campaign in this event, winning two more medals to add to the four they had won since the competition started.
Mary Taiwo Osijo clinched Bronze in the women’s 87kg weightling, lifting a combined total weight of 225kg from: Snatch, Clean & Jerk. Osijo had an unblemished series, lifting all attempts she made in both categories, and deservedly won the Bronze medal.
Earlier in the day, Taiwo Laidi set the pace, set a Junior Commonwealth Games Record after lifting a total weight of 216kg. Laidi won the Silver medal in the women’s 76kg event, and with Osijo’s Bronze in the 87kg event, Nigeria finished with a tally of six medals in the weightlifting alone.