The second and final part of the Top 12 Nigerian Male Athletes in 2023 highlights the hardwork and impact some of the country’s best athletes had on the national and international scene. In case you missed the first part, check it out here: Top 12 Nigerian Male Athletes in 2023 —Part 1


It was a good outing for former National Champion Seye Ogunlewe as he clocked a Personal Best at the meet.

Season Highlights

Silver Medal winner at the Nigerian Championships (100m)

Semifinalist at the World Championships (100m)

The three-time National Champion Seye Ogunlewe has been around the Nigerian Athletics circuit for more than a decade now and has always proven himself in both his individual event and the relays.

The 32-year-old qualified for his first World Championships where he made it through to the semifinals. In the lead-up to the World Championships, Ogunlewe partook in meets in the European circuit where he was mostly ranked among the top 3. He won the Silver medal at the Nigerian Championships in the 100m in 10.11s.

To further underline how memorable the season was for Ogunlewe, he ran his four fastest times in 2023; 10.03s (PB) and 10.08s at the Lagos Athletics Series, 10.04s at the Horst Mandl Memorial and 10.07s at the World Championships. He also bettered his 200m PB to 20.63s whilst racing at the Horst Mandl Memorial.


Season Highlights

Bronze Medal winner at the NCAA Championships (400mH)

Semifinalist at the World Championships (400mH)

Since Nathaniel announced himself to the world in 2021 at the World U-20 Championships in Nairobi, he hasn’t relented, breaking records here and there. Recently, he’s become one of Nigeria’s most consistent athletes.

Nathaniel continued from where he stopped the previous season (2022) but decided to spice things up by adding the 400m and dropping the 600m, which paid off. At the Big 12 Indoor Championships, Nathaniel went under 46s in the heats with a time of 45.90s and bettered it in the final with another PB of 45.77s.

At the NCAA Indoor Championships, he broke his PB once again in the heats (45.69s). He finished 6th in the final. Nathaniel narrowly missed out on the NR he set in 2022 after coming 2nd at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in 48.52s, which automatically qualified him for his second consecutive World Championships.

Nathaniel won the Bronze medal at the NCAA Championships, upgrading his 4th-place finish from the previous edition. The National Record holder made it to the semis of the men’s 400m hurdles at the World Championships.


Photo Credit: LSU Track and Field

Season Highlights

SEC 100m/4×100m Champion

Silver Medal winner at the NCAA Championships (100m)

NCAA 4x100m Champion

Last season, Brume fully demonstrated that he’s grown past the shadows of his elder sister, Ese Brume who is Nigeria’s most decorated athlete in recent years, and that he is here to make a name for himself.

Brume’s ability to remain still while facing stiff competition is what sets him apart. The Delta State native took his 60m PB from 6.89s to 6.58s. His most noteworthy performance during the indoor season was the Bronze he won at the SEC Championships.

During the outdoor season, Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist had a dominant performance, winning four out of the six 100m races he competed in. At the SEC Championships, he clocked a PB of 10.04s to win the men’s 100m and also anchored his team to smash the NCAA Record with a ground-breaking 37.90s.

At the NCAA Championships, Brume first anchored his team to GOLD in the men’s 4x100m, then went on to win the Silver medal in the men’s 100m in a blazing PB and SR of 9.90s. The time leapfrogged him to third on the Nigerian all-time 100m list behind Olusoji Fasuba and Divine Oduduru.


Season Highlights

100m National Champion

Itsekiri is Nigeria’s only sprinter who hasn’t failed to qualify for any major Athletics competition since 2019. Itsekiri had a wonderful season in 2023 across the 100m and 200m. In the 100m, he ran under 10.1 seconds five times. He even went ahead to tie his PB of 10.02 from 2019 twice.

The first time took place at the Bob Vigars Classic in London while the second time was at the Nigerian Championships in Benin where he became the National Champion for the second time since 2019 when he claimed the sprint double in Kaduna.

Itsekiri shattered his four-year-old 200m PB at the Johnny Loading Classic to a superior 20.34s. The 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF) 100m Champion matched his best result at the World Championships by reaching the semifinals of the men’s 100m.


Chukwuebuka Enekwechi competes in the Men’s Shot Put Qualification during day one of the World Championships in Budapest.

Season Highlight

Shotput National Champion

Two-time African Champion Enekwechi has been one of the most consistent faces of Nigerian Athletics for more than half a decade now. He has been to every major international final dating back to 2018. Although Enekwechi’s 2023 season didn’t end up the way he would have hoped for as he didn’t make a major international Shotput final for the first time since the World Championships in London in 2017, he had a brilliant campaign throughout the season.

The reigning African Champion tossed his implement 17 times and 13 out of the 17 throws were measured above the 21-metre mark. Enekwechi’s throw of 21.69m at the Drake Relay happened to be the farthest throw he has recorded since 2019. He repeated his feat as Nigeria’s strongest man after winning his National Title for the third time in a row.


Season Highlights

PAC 12 100m/200m Champion

NCAA 200m Champion

Nigeria’s Golden Boy Udodi Onwuzurike is one athlete whose transition from the junior to the senior ranks has been quite inspirational, and last season was a testament to this transition.

Onwuzurike’s first season as a senior came with a lot of fire from him. He started his indoor season with a bang, recording a PB of 6.63s. He bettered the time to 6.59s a month later. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, the former World U-20 Champion clocked a PB of 20.17s in the semifinals and followed up with a time of 20.36s to place 5th.

Moving to the outdoor season, the 20-year-old eventually broke the 20-sec barrier in the 200m after running a PB of 19.91s at the PAC-12 Track and Field Championships to become the third and youngest Nigerian to ever do so. He also broke Ato Boldon’s Meeting Record (MR) that stood since 1996.

Onwuzurike had a fine run at the NCAA West Prelims. Asides being the standout sprinter of the meet courtesy of his successful sprint double that helped him punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships, he entered the prestigious sub-10 club in the process of winning the men’s 100m in a PB and SR of 9.92s.

At the NCAA Championships, Onwuzurike opened his campaign with a 10.04s in the semifinals which saw him through to the final as the 9th fastest qualifier. In the final, he dashed to 9.98s to finish sixth in the men’s 100m. Over at the 200m, he blazed to a sensational PB of 19.76s to qualify overall fastest to the finals.

In the final, the Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist delivered yet another sub-20 performance, registering a fiery 19.84s to win the men’s 200m, making him the third Nigerian after Divine Oduduru and Olapade Adeniken to claim such accolades in the NCAA circuit.

Onwuzurike went professional a few months after his amazing run in his sophomore year at Stanford University. He is currently signed under the three-stripes brand, Adidas.

Gregory Airende is an enthusiastic Sportswriter and Analyst who has an in-depth knowledge of various sports like Athletics, Football, Basketball, and Gymnastics. His work experience include being a content writer at The Athletic Heat, to a Football Analyst at Sportskeeda and now a Junior Sportswriter at Making of Champions.


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