Commonwealth Games 2022: These 6 Nigerian women including a mechanical engineer have crushed it in Birmingham

Vanessa Calys-Tagoe August 04, 2022
Chioma Onyekwere. Photo: Twitter/@cicionyekwere

While Black women win every day, it’s not every day they all have a common ancestry. On the African continent, Nigeria is lifting the continent’s name high while proving that Black women from anywhere can do it all. 

The Commonwealth Games 2022 is being hosted in Birmingham for sports games across various disciplines. While it is ongoing, Nigeria, a country in West Africa is already proving that its green and white colored flag has come to stay in the game. 

These six women have made a name for themselves and their country at large while beating all the odds. 

Chioma Onyekwere 

On August 2, Onyekwere was crowned the Discus champion as she threw the season’s best of 61.70m to take the win, making her the first Nigerian to win in that category. More exciting is she trained to compete at this level while working full-time as a PD engineer at a Fortune 500 company. 

She worked as an Exterior Lighting Design and Release Engineer at Ford Motor Company while still training to become an Olympian. 

Onyekwere chased the dream of being an Olympian for five years and finally on July 1, 2022, she became one. She took to social media and described the journey as “grueling, but taught me discipline, tenacity and to never give up on my dreams.” 

While many can attest to how tedious it is to be a successful Olympian, Onyekwere can now wear her championship cloak atop her engineering cloak. The 28-year-old becomes the second African female to win Gold after South Africa’s Elizna Naude. She was followed closely by her compatriot, Obiageri Amaechi who won the bronze medal with a throw of 59.99m. 


Adijat Olarinoye opened the gateway of gold medals for her fellow Nigerian women in Birmingham when she won gold in the women’s 55kg Weightlifting event at the Commonwealth Games. She set a new record of 203kg to win in that category. Adijat broke two Game Records in the Snatch category in a space of 10 minutes lifting 90kg and 92kg. 

Her technical crew made a decision that could have cost her, her gold medal but she persevered and became the only athlete in the game to lift weight over 90kg. 

Adijat lifted 92kg for the snatch category, 111kg for the clean and jerk making a total of 203kg in total. 

In another session of weightlifting, Rafiatu Lawal lifting 90kg for the snatch category and 119kg for the clean and jerk category set three records at the Commonwealth Games for the women’s 59kg final. 

Right behind her was Folashade Lawal who also won gold with a record of 206kg in the women’s 59kg category. 

Then in the Women’s 64kg event, Islamiyat Yusuf won bronze with 93kg for snatch and 119kg for clean and jerk. 

Still in the Women’s weightlifting, Taiwo Laidi took the silver medal for the women’s 76kg category. She had a total lift of 216 for both the snatch and jerk category. 

These six women have proven that they were made for the weightlifts and the discus and their names have come to stay. The Commonwealth Games 2022 is still ongoing and Nigeria so far seems unstoppable. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 4, 2022


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