Eagles’ W/Cup Heartbreak And Seven Biggest Moments In Nigeria Sports For 2022

Sports lovers in Nigeria had to deal with heartbreaks and joy during the year.

Biggest Sporting Moments In Nigeria For 2022.
Biggest Sporting Moments In Nigeria For 2022.


2022 may not be one of the best years for Nigerian sports. It was the year the Super Eagles did not make it to the World Cup, shattering the hearts of millions who follow the most popular sports in Nigeria.

That was not all! The country’s big names in boxing Anthony Joshua and UFC Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya all had a rough year.

While Joshua, who has Nigerian parents but fights for Britain, failed to reclaim WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles from Ukraine’s Alexander Usyk, Usman and Adesanya surprisingly lost their UFC belts to Leon Edwards and Alex Pereira respectively.

Having had to deal with these heartbreaks, Nigerians, however, had some cheery moments in the year, particularly on individual levels. It was one of the best years for the country’s athletics too.

This is a highlight of the biggest sports moments (2022) that will remain etched in the annals of the country’s history and the world: 

1. Brilliant Birmingham

Nigeria’s relay team at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Twitter/@OgaNlaMedia


The first bus stop will be the 2022 Commonwealth Games which ranked among the best sporting outings for Nigeria in recent years.

Nigerian athletes amassed 35 medals (Gold 12, Silver 9, Bronze 14) to finish 12 and Africa’s best. All 12 gold medallists were women, a feat that elicited wide applause.

One of the highlights of the brilliant Birmingham performance was the 4×100 metres relay. The quartet of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha produced a stunning run to win the gold and set a new African record with a time of 42.10 seconds.

While Amusan recorded 12.30 seconds in the final of the women’s 100 metres hurdles to set a CWG record, Ese Brume leapt seven metres to set a record in the long jump.  Weightlifters Alice Oluwafemilayo, Adijat Olarinoye, and Rafiatu Lawal also set new CWG records in their respective categories.

2.  Amusan’s Golden Leap

Tobi Amusa. Facebook/World Athletics.


Amusan, perhaps, shone the brightest among Nigeria’s sports personalities this year.

Apart from her Commonwealth Games exploits, she set a world record in the semi-final of the women’s 100 metres hurdle. The 25-year-old ran 12.12 seconds to defeat Kendra Harrison, who had set the world record with a time of 12.20 seconds in 2016, at the London Müller Anniversary Games.

The Nigerian clocked 12.06 seconds to clinch the gold. That was supposed to be the new world record, but the time won’t be recognized due to a tailwind of +2.5 m/s.

Her 2022 performance earned her nomination for the World Female Athlete of the Year which she lost to Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone. She, however, emerged as the best female athlete on the continent, according to the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).

3. Asisat Oshoala Shines

Oshoala with her Pichichi award. Instagram/@asisat_oshoala


Another sports personality who shone like a million stars in 2022 is Asisat Oshoala. 

The forward is not new to achieving big as a footballer but the FC Barcelona Femene star striker will count 2022 as one of her most successful years.

She helped Barcelona retain the league and reached the UEFA Women’s Champions League final which they lost to Lyon. Her 20 goals haul in the league earned her the Pichichi award in the Spanish Liga F.

The Nigerian striker was also 16th in the 20-person shortlist for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or award, the first African to be nominated for the prize.

Also, Oshoala bagged the African Player of the Year for a record fifth time, adding to her previous wins in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019.

4. Victor Osimhen Sparkles

Victor Osimhen. Twitter/@victorosimhen9


Her compatriot Victor Osimhen is also having a good year with Napoli and leading the club’s charge to clinch the Serie A with nine goals despite being injured for some period. He has also scored once for the Italian side in the Champions League this season.

Osimhen’s impressive run in 2022 earned him the Emerging Player of the Year at the 2022 Globe Soccer awards. He beat other promising stars like Barcelona’s duo of Gavi and Pedri, Real Madrid’s Fede Valverde, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, and Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala among others to scoop the award.

5. Flamingos Break World Cup Jinx

Flamingos. Facebook/The Nigeria Football Federation.


Still, in football. The female U-17 team had their best run in the FIFA World Cup in 2022. They reached the semi-finals and won bronze after defeating Germany.

Before October’s feat in India, the Flamingos have failed to go past the quarter-finals on eight occasions.

6. Highly-Rated Aruna Quadri 

Aruna Quadri. Facebook/Aruna Quadri


And on an individual note, the table tennis star became the first African to be ranked among the top 10 table tennis players in the world. He reached that feat in May and placed tenth with 1565 points.

Aruna, 34, was in great form at the 2022 World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender championship in Qatar in March. There, he became the first African to reach the semi-final of the event, beating two Chinese on the way.

Later in September, Quadri won his second continental title in the men’s singles of the 2022 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African championship after beating Egypt’s Omar Assar.

7. Super Eagles World Cup Blow

The Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Twitter@NGSuperEagles


In football, it was a heartbreaking moment for Nigerian football fans in March when the Super Eagles played a 1-1 draw with Ghana in Abuja after a barren draw in Kumas.

The draw meant the 2013 African champions did not participate in the Qatar 2022 World Cup as the Black Stars qualified on the away goals rule.

It shattered Nigeria’s hopes of a seventh appearance in eight attempts since debuting at the 1994 World Cup.

8. D’Tigress World Cup Disappointment 

D’Tigress. Facebook/D’Tigress


Away from the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national female basketball team were served a bitter pill in 2022 after they were stopped from featuring in the FIBA World Cup.

The D’Tigress was disqualified after the Federal Government suspended the country from all international competitions and activities for two years.