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Seventeen-year-old, Abiola Ogunbanwo, representing Team Nigeria at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics has set a new national record in swimming.
Ogunbanwo won heat 1 of the women’s 100m Freestyle, finishing strongly and swimming to a new Personal Best time of 59.74 Seconds, winning her heat in the category ahead of Andela Antunovic of Montenegro who came second while Gaurika Singh of Nepal came third.
Unfortunately, her winning time fell short of the best 16 times that progressed into the semi-final,
Nonetheless, Ogunbanwo emerged as the first Nigerian woman ever to finish this event in less than one minute, with her time ranking 48th. But as a teenager and participating in her first Olympic games, the future is surely bright if the right effort is channelled at her development and exposure.
Abiola Ogunbanwo is only the 10th Nigerian to take part in swimming at the Olympic Games.
She is the first Nigerian woman to go under the one-minute mark surpassing Ngozi Monu’s long-standing record of 1:15 minutes achieved during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Before Ogunbanwo, the only Nigerians to have graced the pool at the Olympics were Musa Bakare (Barcelona ‘92), Ikhaghomi Joshua (Barcelona ‘92), Monu (Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008), Gentle Offoin (Sydney 2000), Lenient Obia (Athens 2004), Eric Williams (Athens 2004), Yellow Yeiyah (Beijing 2008), Samson Opuakpo (Rio 2016), and Rachael Tonjor (Rio 2016).