The year 2022 is a mixed bag for Nigerian sports. Although the country had some ups and downs, there were many downs.
Tobi Amusa was a shining light for Nigeria on the world stage in the year 2022.
However, the Super Eagles were unable to fly at AFCON 2021 as they were kicked out of the Championship in the second round, while Ghana went ahead to deny them a ticket to the World Cup in Qatar.
Some Nigerian-born athletes also lost their titles in the year.
daily trust has highlighted some sports activities that were highlighted in 2022 below:
The heroism of Tobi Amusan
In July, Oluwatobi Amusan made history by becoming Nigeria’s first gold winner at the World Championships in Athletics.
Her performance came 90 minutes after she set a semifinal record time of 12.12 seconds, breaking the record of 12.20 held by American Kendra Harrison, who finished behind her in second place.
Amusan finished in 12.06 seconds in the final, which would have broken his new world record, but his new record was ineligible as the wind speed was above the legal limit.
She recovered from a slightly slower start to put in a captivating performance, finishing the race, ahead of silver medalist Britany Anderson of Jamaica.
The Nigerian athlete showed great determination to end Nigeria’s medal drought at the World Championships, having held nothing back in the semi-finals, just one day after setting the African record in the opening qualifiers.
For Amusan, it was an emotional moment on the podium as he sang Nigeria’s national anthem.
This was the first time since 2000 that the Nigerian national anthem had been played at a senior athletic championship event.
While on the podium, he received his $100,000 check for his world record breaking efforts.
World Athletics on their Twitter accounts wrote: “Continue to put into practice our promises towards greater gender equality. #WeGrowAthletics proudly funding the women’s world record program at #WorldAthleticsChamps.”
For her exploits, President Muhammadu Buhari rewarded her with a national honor and a cash prize.
Anthony Joshua could not recover titles
Uysk defeats Anthony Joshua to retain heavyweight titles
British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua, in August, missed out on a chance to regain his heavyweight titles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua lost the rematch fight to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, who won a split points decision after the pair fought 12 rounds.
Usyk won via split points decision: 113-115, 115-113 and 116-112.
Usyk had previously knocked out Joshua in London in September 2021.
Kamaru Usman lost the championship title
Hours after Nigerian-born British boxer Joshua lost his chance to regain his heavyweight titles, Kamaru Usman, another Nigerian, lost the UFC welterweight champion title.
Britain’s Leon Edwards knocked out Usman to win the title in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Edwards came to life with a head kick knockout that came from behind late in the fifth round of the main event at UFC 278.
After becoming the first person to take down the near-perfect champion in Round 1, Edwards struggled in the next few rounds to build some sort of momentum.
Usman took over the fight with his superior wrestling and threw strong boxing combinations and looked to be on his way to another title defense as he closed in on Anderson Silva’s record for most all-time.
Usman’s pace slowed in round 5, but it likely led to a unanimous decision victory for the champion, as Edwards looked defeated in his corner as his team begged him to come back to life in the final round.
Suddenly, Edwards threw a right jab and fired a left head kick that knocked out Usman at 4:04 of round 5.
However, Usman has vowed to bounce back.
Super Eagles deliver World Cup ticket to Ghana
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after Ghana’s Black Stars forced them to a 1-1 draw in the last leg of the World Cup tie at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The first leg of the third round qualifiers in Kumasi had ended in a barren draw, so the Black Stars qualified for Qatar 2022 on the away goal at the expense of the Super Eagles.
The Black Stars silenced the more than 60,000 Nigerian fans at MKO Abiola when Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey’s 10th-minute long-range shot stunned past Francis Uzoho and into the net for the first goal of the game.
Stunned by the goal, the Super Eagles put sustained pressure on the Black Stars, but their passing in the final third continued to disappoint them.
With defeat in sight, the three-time African champions camped in their opponents half and during one of their raids, new boy Ademola Lookman was tripped in the box and the resulting penalty awarded after VAR review was converted with calm in the 22nd minute by William Troost-Ekong for the much-needed equalizing goal.
Minutes later, Osimhen thought he had scored the second goal but the central referee cut short the joy of the Nigerians after consulting the VAR to rule out the goal for offside.
At the restart of the second half, the Super Eagles continued their quest for the crucial second goal, but the Black Stars adopted delaying tactics to thwart them.
With time rushing by, coach Eguavoen later introduced captain Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo, but the duo were unable to save the Super Eagles from another World Cup mishap.
Israel Adesanya loses UFC title to Brazilian Pereira
Alex Pereira, a Brazilian mixed martial artist, defeated Israel Adesanya of Nigeria to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion.
Pereira knocked out Adesanya in the final round for a stunning upset.
The Nigerian-born New Zealander’s kickboxing career involved some losses, with Brazilian Pereira outpointing Adesanya in 2016 and knocking out the “Ultimate Stylebender” in 2017.
The Brazilian trailed heading into the fifth session, but was able to knock Adesanya down and use his fearsome punching power to stop his old kickboxing rival.
Adesanya was undefeated at middleweight in mixed martial arts, but Pereira was able to revive his second kickboxing fight with a come-from-behind win.
Mike Tyson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Sylvester Stallone attended Adesanya’s sixth world title defense since dethroning Robert Whittaker in October 2019 and unifying the division.
Nigeria’s dream of winning a fourth continental title ended when the Tunisian Carthage Eagles defeated the Super Eagles by a single goal in the second round of the tournament at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua.
Nigeria had dominated the early proceedings of the game to keep the Tunisians in their own half to no avail.
Four minutes into the second half, the Tunisians stunned the Super Eagles when Youssef Msakni opened the scoring with a long-range shot just out of reach of Okoye Maduka.
Looking to get back into the game, Augustine Eguavoen made a double substitution bringing out Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi for Peter Olayinka and Alex Iwobi, who was red-carded in the 66th minute for dangerous play.
The Super Eagles, who were the favorites to win the tournament, came out in numbers and came close on a few occasions without success.