The days are already running fast in 2018 and Nigerian sportsmen and women are bracing up for what best can be described as a loaded calendar year of activities.
While there are many events in and around sports for 2018, PREMIUM TIMES makes a selection of eight top sporting events Nigeria will be keen to excel in, in 2018.
African Wrestling Championships
The sporting year will be starting on a historic note as Nigeria will be hosting the rest of the continent in the Africa Wrestling Championship.
The event billed to be staged in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from February 7th – 11th is guaranteed to have in attendance top African wrestlers and the world at large.
This is the biggest international wrestling event to be ever hosted in Nigeria.
This is a rare feature on Nigeria’s sporting calendar.
The country’s flag will be hoisted in the bobsled event of the 2018 edition following the heroics of three young ladies brave enough to walk the path never tried by anyone from their nation.
The trio of Seun Adigun and Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga will be making history at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018.
It is a major international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.
Lagos City Marathon
Growing by leaps and bounds each passing year, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon now with an IAAF Bronze Label is being anticipated across the world.
The Lagos race ranks high in terms of the winning prizes it offers as well as the number of enthusiastic participants.
With the introduction of a new 10km Family Race, over 100,000 participants are expected this year and many are keen to see Nigerian runners improve their ratings compared to the first two editions.
The race holds on February 10.
Unlike the Winter Olympics, Nigeria is a known figure and a superpower in the Commonwealth Games which is a sporting event for former British Colonies.
The 2018 edition will be taking place in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between April 4 and 15.
Nigeria will be looking to improve on her performance at the last edition held in Glasgow where she won 11 Gold, 11 Silver and 14 Bronze medals.
UEFA Champions League final
This is uniquely popping up on the Nigeria sports calendar chiefly because of the followership it commands.
There is also the possibility of having a Nigerian feature in that final in the person of Victor Moses.
Chelsea will, however, have to get past Barcelona first in the Round of 16.
The trio of Kanu Nwankwo, Finidi George and John Obi Mikel are proud Nigerian winners of Europe’s biggest club football silverware.
The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kiev on May 26.
Russia 2018 World Cup
This is arguably the world’s biggest sporting event on the calendar for the year. Thankfully, Nigeria will be actively involved.
It is the sixth time Nigeria will be campaigning in the World Cup and the prayer of all is that it would be the best ever for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria has never gone beyond the Second Round in previous editions attended.
The team will be starting out in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and perennial foes, Argentina
Senior Africa Athletics championships
The 21st edition of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Senior Championships tagged ‘Asaba 2018’ is going to hold from August 1 to 5 in Delta State, Nigeria.
This is the first time Nigeria is hosting this flagship event since 1989 when it was staged in Lagos.
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as well the LOC Chairman, Solomon Ogba, have both given repeated assurances that Nigeria will be staging a world-class event that all will be proud of.
Africa’s best track and field athletes are expected in the “Heartbeat State” as the event will be used to select the continent’s contingent to the Intercontinental Cup in athletics later in the year.
U-20 Women’s World Cup
Nigeria still has one more hurdle to cross before securing a berth to participate in the U-20 Women’s World Cup that would take place in France.
The tournament will be held in France between August 5 and 24 201and Nigeria who have narrowly missed out on the trophy on two occasions will hope to get it right this term.