Nigeria’s first ever Olympic medalist Nojeem Maiyegun is 80 years old today. Maiyegun nicknamed ‘Omo Oloja’ set the record at the Tokyo 1964 Olympics at the age of 23.
The then light middleweight boxer accomplished the task four years after Nigeria’s independent. His accomplishment at the Tokyo Olympics also opened doors for Nigerian boxers at the games.
Other Nigerian boxers who followed his step after his feat at the Tokyo Olympics are Isaac Ikhuoria (bronze-1972, Munich) , Peter Konyegwachie (Silver-1984, Los Angeles), David Izonritei (silver-1982, Barcelona), Richard Igbinehu (Silver-1982, Barcelona) and Duncan Dokiwari (Bronze- 1996, Atlanta).
Two years later, Maiyegun was at the Commonwealth Games in Kingston 1966. Having won bronze at Olympics, Nigerians had expected him to win a gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Unfortunately, he fought bravely with a dislocated shoulder in the semifinal where he eventually settled for a bronze. Between 1971-1973, he had a total of 16 bouts in his career, he won 12 and lost 4.
In 2012, Maiyegun revealed he was alive but blind and living in Austria. After the then Director General of NSC described him as “late Nojeem Maiyegun” while presenting the trophy in his honour to Delta State in Lagos for winning the National Sports Festival.