Saturday, 4 August 2012

Nigerians Flying the Flag of Great Britain


Even as Nigeria has settled for a modest number of 55 athletes as she competes for medals at the London Games, dozens of Nigerians who have taken up other nationalities are also vying for medals in the colours of their adopted countries.

The Great Britain boasts of the highest number of Nigerian athletes who are representing other countries at the 2012 Summer Olympics. At least 13 of such athletes have been identified by Shot! and their profiles also unveiled.

Among the athletes of Nigerian origin flying the flag of the Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics are:

Margaret Adeoye.

Margaret Adeoye born 22 April 1985 is a British athlete who competes in the 200 metres. She is representing Great Britain at that distance in the London Olympics.

Her personal best for the 200m was gained on 24 June 2012 when she ran the distance in 23.09s in a qualifying heat of the Olympic trials, going on to win the final the same day.

Eniola Aluko

Eniola "Eni" Aluko born 21 February 1987, in Lagos is a Nigerian-born, English football forward who plays for Birmingham City Ladies of the FA WSL. Aluko moved with her family to Birmingham when she was one year old. Since she grew up in England, she chose to represent England at international level. Aluko started her career at Leafield Athletic Ladies. She then went on to play for Birmingham City Ladies' youth team under manager Marcus Bignot and alongside future England team-mate, Karen Carney. She scored on her Birmingham team debut against Leeds United, aged just 14. In April 2002, 15-year-old Aluko played in the FA Women's Premier League Cup final, as a young Birmingham team lost 7-1 to professional Fulham. Aluko's goalscoring during the following 2002-03 Premier League season led Bignot to declare her "the Wayne Rooney of women's football." She is a member of the Great Britain women football team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ifeoma Dieke

Ifeoma Nnenna Dieke born 25 February 1981 is an American-born, Scottish football defender, currently playing for Vittsjö GIK of the Swedish Damallsvenskan. Since 2004, she has appeared on 90 occasions for the Scotland women's national football team. Dieke was born in Amherst, Massachusetts to Nigerian parents, moving to Cumbernauld in Scotland when she was three years old. Dieke and fellow Scot Kim Little are the only non-English players selected in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.

Oluwadamiola Bakare

Oluwadamiola Bakare is a key member of Britain men's volleyball team at the ongoing London 2012 Olympics. He was born on 22 September 1988 in Kaduna North-Western region of Nigeria.

Temitope 'Temi' Fagbenle

Temitope 'Temi' Fagbenle is a American-British female basketball player of Nigerian descent. She is a member of the Great Britain's women basketball team at the London 2012 Olympics. Fagbenle was born on 8 September 1992, to a Nigerian family in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, and has eleven sibling. Her family moved to London, United Kingdom when she was aged 11 and she began playing basketball at the Haringey Angels club. When she was fifteen she returned to the United States to study at Blair Academy in New Jersey. She attends Harvard University. As of 2012 she is 1.93 metres (6 ft 4 in) tall and weighs 79 kilograms (170 lb).

Lawrence Okoye

Lawrence Okoye born 6 October 1991 is an English track and field athlete who competes in the discus throw. He is the British record holder in the event.

Born in Croydon, London, he began training full-time in the discus in September 2010 after a promising career as a junior rugby union player. In his first international outing he came sixth at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics. He won a gold medal at the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships in July 2011. He is competing for the Great Britain in the area of his specialty.

Phillips Olaosebikan Idowu

Born 30 December 1978 in the London Borough of Hackney, Philiphs Olaosebikan Idowu MBE, is a Nigerian-English triple jumper. He was the 2009 World Champion, the 2008 World Indoor champion and reigning 2010 EAA European Champion representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as 2006 Commonwealth Games champion representing England and 2007 European Indoor champion. He also won the silver medal representing Team GB at the 2008 Summer Olympics.He is a member of the London-based Belgrave Harriers athletics club and has been for much of his career. Idowu was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to athletics.

Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu MBE born 17 May 1984 specialises in the 400 metres; the event for which she is the current Olympic and former World and Commonwealth Champion. Her victory in the Beijing Games was the 50th gold medal for Great Britain in Athletics at the Olympics.

Ohuruogu's Personal Best of 49.61 ranks her third amongst British women 400 m runners, behind fellow Olympic medallists Kathy Cook and Katharine Merry.

Born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Newham, east London, she was raised less than one mile from the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in Stratford.

Andrew Osagie

Andrew Osagie born 19 February 1988, Harlow specializes in the 800 metres, representing Harlow Athletics Club at club level and Great Britain at national level.

He competed for Great Britain and NI at the 2010 World Indoor Championships where he made the semi-finals but narrowly missed out on progression through to the final.[1]

Also in 2010, after suffering injury setbacks he competed in the XIX Commonwealth Games, Delhi, India where he again qualified for the semi-finals but narrowly missed out on progression through to the final.

Following his successes indoors in 2010, he qualified for and represented Great Britain and NI at the 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships - Men's 800 metres where he finished fourth in the final of the 800 m. In February 2011, he replaced Sebastian Coe as third on the UK All-time list for 1000 m indoors (Birmingham) and moved to 5th on the UK All-time list for 800 m indoors (Stockholm). At the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Ataköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul Osagie finished third, gaining a bronze medal. He is also a 2nd Dan black belt in Karate.

Anyika Onuora

Anyika Onuora born 28 October 1984 specialises in the 100 and 200 metres, and also the 4Ã-100 metres relay.

Her first major junior international competition was the 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships, where she finished fifth in the 100 m event and won a silver medal with the British 4Ã-100 metres relay team. She competed in her first major senior tournaments in 2006: at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games she reached the semi-finals of the 100 m and won her second silver medal in the 4Ã-100 m relay with the English team. Five months later at her first European Athletics Championships, she achieved the same feat again, reaching the individual semi-finals and taking another silver medal with the relay team. She also competed in the 2006 IAAF World Cup, representing Europe, but finished last, despite recording a season's best for the team. A technical lane mix-up with the United States team resulted in a poor performance for the British team and disqualification for the American team.

Onuora was chosen to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a back-up runner in the relay team; however, ultimately she did not compete for the team.

Abiodun Oyepitan

Abiodun Adesola "Abi" Oyepitan born 30 December 1979 specialises in the 100 and 200 metres. She won the 100 m at the 2001 Summer Universiade and at the 2002 Commonwealth Games she took a bronze medal with the 4 x 100 m team. She became one of Britain's best female sprinters, becoming the first British female to reach an Olympic final in a sprint event since Kathy Cook.[1] However, following her performance in the 2004 Athens Olympics, she suffered an injury, which all but brought her career to a halt.

She made a winning comeback in 2010, competing in the Diamond League and winning a silver medal for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in the 200 m and a gold medal when she anchored the 4 x 100 m relay team to a win.

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