The University of Lagos was an exciting beehive of activities for 10 days when students from across Nigeria dropped their notebooks and pens for their football boots and running shoes to take part in the 26th edition of the Nigeria University Games, NUGA.
Amidst the over 10,000 athletes from 70 universities that were on parade, some individuals distinguished themselves with breathtaking performances in the respective sporting events they took part in.
To make it to the podium and win a medal takes a lot of hard work, let alone winning multiple medals, with many athletes winning the consolation medal of just participation. Thus, praising and congratulating multiple-medal winning athletes should be the norm.
PREMIUM TIMES beams the searchlight on athletes who won four or more gold medals at the 2022 NUGA Games and hopes they fulfill their undoubted talents in the future.
While speaking with PREMIUM TIMES in Lagos, these exceptional athletes shared some of their success secrets and their dreams and aspirations as student-athletes.
1). Ifeakachukwu Godsgift Nmor (University of Port Harcourt)
Nmor is an example of consistency, excellence, and hard work. The final year student of Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt scooped 15 medals-13 gold and two silver, at the just concluded Nigerian Universities games, NUGA that was held at the University of Lagos.
Unarguably, Nmor was the most valuable athlete at the 2022 NUGA Games. The Uniport multi-medalist told PREMIUM TIMES the results were the product of hard work, excellent facilities, and constant preparation from himself and the School.
Nmor also captained event-winning Team Uniport. He revealed that winning medals was the primary target while coming to NUGA.
He reiterated the fact that the University of Port Harcourt is a place that nurtures and discovers talents. Uniport has won the last seven consecutive NUGA Games. He predictably scooped the most outstanding male athlete award.
2). Akiayefa Timipame-Ere (NILE university)
Just like Nmor, Timipame-Ere scooped the most outstanding female athlete award with an astonishing record of 11 medals in swimming.
She won nine gold and two silver medals for her institution, Nile University, Abuja.
While speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, she said what motivated her heroic performance was her focus on medals.
As for tournaments, this wasn’t her first time competing in a major competition. Timipame-Ere started swimming in 2012 and she has gone to several competitions.
3). Rhoda Adisa (University of Port Harcourt)
Adisa Rhoda Ifeoluwa born in Jos to Yoruba parents from Oyo is a 400 level student of Agricultural Economics from the University of PortHarcourt.
Rhoda participated in both Judo and Athletics where she won a total of six medals for her school. She won three gold medals in 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 metres and a silver laurel in 1500 metres. Aside from athletics, she also took home gold and silver in the 48kg category of the Judo women’s event.
Although this isn’t the first time Rhoda will participate in a major competition in Judo, athletics was a newfound love that was discovered by the lady at this Games. She told PREMIUM TIMES that when coming into the competition she was confident of good results.
Rhoda also added that she had back-to-back competitions in Judo and Athletics till her last event last Thursday. Her first challenge was the 5,000 metres where she won gold before clinching silver in the 48kg category in Judo the following day.
Now for Rhoda, who revealed her focus had shifted to her new love, which is Athletics. She said what motivated and got her interested in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres races is the “endurance” she knows she possesses.
She said; “Before I participated in WAUG 2018 for the Judo event in my school, there is a fitness test we do. We ran a Copa test, which was for about 12 minutes, almost eight laps and I discovered I have good endurance.”
Rhoda also added that, despite performing Judo for four years, she has always wanted Athletics which she finally participated in for the first time at NUGA and won gold medals. She, however, now hopes to continue in Athletics.
4). Ujunwa Nwankwo Caroline (University of Port Harcourt)
Ujunwa couldn’t hide her excitement after she clinched six medals in Taekwondo and Karate for the University of Port Harcourt.
Ujunwa told PREMIUM TIMES that she was self-motivated because she didn’t want her friends, family, and the school that entrusted the responsibility to be disappointed. Ujunwa made it clear that she trains for two hours intensely every day to stay focused.
She also added that her Karate role model is a man named Sensei Bob Bamboye.
A professional Karate and Taekwondo fighter who earned medals in the last sports festival said her focus is the World Shotokan Karate-do Federation (WSKF) world championship in Japan, the Commonwealth Games, and the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Games.
5). Vivian Ekpeyong Oku (University of Calabar)
Vivian shone in the Table Tennis female category.
The University of Calabar Table Tennis player Oku won four medals overall and was named the most valuable athlete in Table Tennis during the competition.
She earned gold medals in the Women’s Singles, Doubles, and Team events, and also a bronze medal in the Mixed Doubles.
While speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Vivian said she sees herself as a professional Table Tennis player one-day.
The youngster also added that her role model is Calabar-born female Table Tennis star, Offiong Edem because of her style of play.
She revealed that she trains based on her free time from classes and tests.
“It depends on my timetable and school activities, such as lectures, tests, and exams. If possible – every day for about two to four hours.”