Nigeria has a rich culture with amazing customs, unique traditions, and spectacular sport. Throughout the history, Nigeria was recognized for its excellence in different sports fields. Besides, the sport has always played a paramount role in bringing people together irrespective of their social affiliation
Africa is a bedrock of sporting talent that cuts across different disciplines. But football may be called the most popular sport in Africa. In Nigeria, along with other African countries, the sport is extremely popular. The men’s football team won gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.
Nowadays, the National Nigerian football team, the Super Eagles, competes regularly. The Swiss-based independent study center CIES Football Observatory has conducted a study to find out the youngest and oldest teams that have qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia. The study revealed that the Eagles fielded the youngest team during the qualifiers, with an average age of 24.9-years-old.
Thus, Nigeria’s Super Eagles were named the youngest team at the World Cup. Also, they are regarded as one of the best teams in Africa and they were ranked 10th in the world.
Thanks to a rich and authentic culture, Nigeria has a national kind of sport. It is called Dambe Boxing. Initially, Dambe Boxing was aimed at practicing military skills, yet now the game is played to achieve personal prestige, demonstrate masculinity, and bring honor to one’s family and the village.
In professional boxing, Nigeria is proud of three world champions – Hogan “Kid” Bassey (featherweight, 1957-1959); Dick Tiger, (middleweight, 1962-1963) and Massachusetts resident, Bash Ali (cruiserweight, 1987). Also, Nigeria’s athletes have also won Olympic medals in long jumps and high jumps.
As for athletics, in field and track events Nigeria has proved to be a good performer at global competitions. African athletes break major world records and they contribute to the promotion of Africa as a sports continent.
Also, basketball is incredibly popular. This type of sport dominates in school competitions and there are many clinics that are called to improve the quality of basketball. According to statistics from NIKE FIBA World Men Rankings last updated on August 21, 2016, Nigeria tops the continent at position 16 globally with 106.2 points.
Also, a famous Nigerian Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon is a former NBA star who was born in Nigeria and played for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors.
On top of that, such sports as baseball, chess, cricket, golf, handball, hockey, lawn tennis, judo, rowing, swimming, shooting, ping-pong, volleyball, rugby, taekwondo, wrestling are also played in Nigeria. In terms of the Olympics, Nigeria participates in football, boxing, long jump, triple jump, sprints, ping-pong, judo, wrestling, weightlifting, and tennis.
List Of Sports Events In Nigeria
Nigerian sportsmen are getting ready for a loaded period of activities. It is important to remember that Nigeria participates in Russia 2018 World Cup. Undoubtedly, this is the world’s biggest sporting event and Nigeria will be actively involved. This is the sixth time Nigeria will take part. In the previous competitions, Nigeria has never gone beyond the Second Round. Hopefully, this year will bring better results. The team starts in Group D, alongside Iceland, Croatia, and Argentina.
However, there are interesting sports events that take place in Nigeria. Here is the list of the major sports events in Nigeria in 2018.
African Wrestling Championships
Nigeria is a host of the Africa Wrestling Championship. Wrestling is popular around the whole continent and Nigeria is the birthplace of many athletes who win in these competitions. In men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle team Nigeria was ranked 1st and in a men’s Greco-Roman competition, it holds the 4th place. And according to a medal table, Nigeria takes the 1st place with 23 medals.
Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Date: 07/02/2018 to 11/02/2018
Lagos City Marathon
This is a Bronze Medal marathon which is held annually in Nigeria. The race ranks high in terms of the prizes it offers and the number of enthusiastic participants. Thus, all participants receive a running race vest, the finishers receive medals and certificates and the winners get cash prizes.
The marathon becomes more and more popular and the number of participants grows every year. Thus, in 2017 over 50,000 athletes participated and in 2018, approximately 100,000 people took part. This year, a 10 km Family Fun Race has been included. It encouraged people who run for fitness and health purposes.
Location: Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Senior Africa Athletics Championships
The 21st edition of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Senior Championships will hold from the 1st – 15th August 2018, in Asaba Township Stadium, Delta-State of Nigeria. Delta State has produced some notable athletes, including Beijing 2008 Silver medalist and Commonwealth Record holder (100m) Blessing Okagbare; two-time African Long Jump Champion and Commonwealth GOLD medalist Ese Brume.
Due to the location, these championships are tagged “Asaba 2018.” This is the first time Nigeria will stage a world-class event. The 2018 CAA African Senior Championships will officially kick off on Wednesday, 1st August 2018 and close on Wednesday, 15th August.
According to Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships, Solomon Ogba, for the first time in the history of the biennial athletics championship, all the countries in Africa would be represented in Asaba. Thus, Nigeria has introduced 72 male athletes, 69 female athletes and 29 officials, Kenya has introduced 34 male and 27 female athletes and 11 officials. Algeria and Senegal have entered 31 male and 29 female athletes on their roster with 17 officials, and 30 male and 30 female athletes as well as 9 officials respectively.
Location: Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria
Date: 01/08/2018 to 15/08/2018
West Africa Sports Betting Conference and Exhibition
This event is scheduled to hold at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from the 18th – 20th July 2018. The agenda is to consider the factors regarding economic and business growth of betting industries in Africa. Also, the issues of illegal sports betting including match fixing and the challenges faced by the industry will be discussed.
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Date: 18/07/2018 to 20/07/2018
This year is full of exciting events which Nigeria will host and in which the country will participate. This is going to be an amazing year, full of new challenges, victories, and vivid emotions.
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