17-year-old Ayomide Bello sets new record as Nigeria’s first female canoeist to qualify for the Olympics

She will be competing in the 2020 games in Tokyo.

Ayomide Bello is Nigeria's first female canoeist to qualify for the Olympics (Kate Green)

17-year-old Ayomide Bello is making history ahead of the Olympics.

Thanks to her impeccable skills, Nigeria will now be sending its first-ever female canoeist to compete at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

She qualified for the international sports event after winning at the C1 200 event at Africa’s Tokyo 2020 qualifiers in Morocco.

Her latest win comes just seven months after she beat opponents to won Nigeria’s first gold medal at the Open International Canoe Sprint Competition in India.

Before Bello, the only other Nigerian canoeist to compete at the Olympics is Jonathan Akinyemi. The Warrington-born athelete competed at the London Games in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

Bello joins the likes of the Nigerian women’s bobsled team and skeleton racer Simi Ageagbo, who all made history last year by becoming the first Africans to compete at the Winter Olympics.

In Adeagbo’s words, “Ultimately, my journey is about breaking down barriers for future generations of athletes — especially young women everywhere — who are watching athletes like me push the limits through sport during the Games.”

Nigerian representatives at the Olympics

Other athletes have also qualified for the 2020 games in various sports.

D’Tigers of Nigeria will be Africa’s sole representative in the men’s basketball event of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The team qualified for the Olympics after an 86–73 win over China in the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

Nigeria will also be particpating in the table tennis event of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

This win was secured by four players — Victor Farinloye, Ahmed Koleosho, Tajudeen Agunbiade and Olufemi Alabi.


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