If you’re Nigerian, and you don’t live under a rock then you are most likely aware of the Nigerian government’s poor treatment of Nigerian athletes. It was actually quite surprising that our U-23 team was able to bag a bronze at the Rio Olympics. Considering that, it’s no wonder these athletes of Nigerian descent did not represent the country.
1. Kemi Adekoya
23-year-old Adekoya switched nationalities in 2014, after failing to qualify to represent Nigeria at the 2012 London Olympics. She represented Bahrain in 400m at the Rio Olympics, although she didn’t make it to the finals.
2. Femi Ogunode
Born in 1991, Femi moved to Qatar in 2009, and began competing for the oil-rich nation in 2010. He previously ran for University of Ibadan, and even qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. For unknown reasons, he never actually went on to the event. He represented Qatar in both 100m and 200m races in Rio. Femi is currently Asia’s fastest man.
3. Morolake Akinosun
Born in Lagos in 1994, Akinosun represented and won gold for America in the 2015 Pan-African Games in Toronto. She also represented the country in 4x100m relay in Rio, winning another gold.
4. Ezinne Okpaerebo
Ezinne represented Norway at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and again in the 2012 London Olympics. The 28-year-old Norwegian who was born in Nigeria and who originally hails from Imo State, is currently Norway’s fastest woman.
5. Ayomide Folorunsho
Born in Abeokuta in 1996, Folorunsho represented Italy in the World Championships in Beijing (2015), and the European Championships in Amsterdam (2016). She competed for Italy in the 400m hurdles and 400 x 100m in Rio.
6. Abubakar Abass
Born in Kano State in 1996, Abbas has won a silver medal in 400m for his adopted country Bahrain. He also represented the country in 400m race at the Rio Olympics.
7. Francis Obilekwu
This sprinter got injured representing Nigeria at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, but didn’t get any support from the government for his surgery in Canada. However, he went on to represent Portugal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and won a silver medal for his adopted country.
8. Marlilyn Okoro
Born to Igbo parents, Okoro is a British track and field athlete. She represented Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as at the IAAF and World Athletic Championships.
9. Edidion Efonime Odiong
This incredibly fast Nigerian sprinter represents Bahrain, and won the 200m race at the IAAF
U-20 Championships, 2016. The 19 year old was also at Rio to represent Bahrain, but unfortunately did not make it to the finals.
10. Barbara Udoezi Nwaba
Born to Igbo parents in 1987, Barbara ran track for her school: University of California, Santa Barbara. She represented America at the Rio Olympics in Shot put, javelin and 800m race.