BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
On this date, 25 July 1992, the Nigerian camp at the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games was set agog when the unusual happened.
The country’s name finally emerged on the medals’ list. Eight before then, Nigeria won a silver and a bronze at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Added to that were a bronze medal each in 1964 and 1972. So, going to the Barcelona Games, Nigeria’s total haul in the history of the Olympics was just three bronze and a silver medal, laughable when compared with the five gold two silver and two bronze medal exploit of Kenya at the 1988 Games.
So on that sunny afternoon in Barcelona on 25 July 1992, Richard Igbineghu, a boxer set the tone of what the day would look like when he won a silver medal in the Super Heavyweight category.
He put up a spirited fight but lost the final bout to favourite, Roberto Balado of Cuba.
Later in the evening, the Nigerian quartet of Beatrice Utondo, Faith Idehen, Christy Opara-Thompson and Mary Onyali won bronze in women’s 4x100m in a race they were just 0.04 seconds ahead of fourth-placed France.
Initially unsure of their final placement, the quartet burst into wild jubilation immediately the results were flashed on the scoreboard.
The picture of the jubilation was one of the iconic photographs of Barcelona 92. Later, the men’s quartet of Oluyemi Kayode, Chidi Imoh, Olapade Adeniken and Davidson Ezinwa won the silver medal in 4x100m.
The Nigerian quartet returned a time of 37.98 seconds behind the American team which set a world record of 37.40 seconds.