On Sunday, 6th August 2022, the nation stood still in admiration for Nigeria’s golden girls who won gold in the 4×100 metres relay in Birmingham. Before that race, Tobi Amusan, the world champion and record holder in the 100 metres hurdles had defended her Commonwealth title. These ladies brought joy to the nation. Now, this did not come by chance. The ladies were spotted when they were young and nurtured.
Catching them young is a prerequisite to success. At the International Youth Summit 2022 Sports Fiesta of the Church of God Mission International in CGMI, Balm of Gilead City Edo State, Eke Progress Nwakaego set herself apart as a golden girl with four gold medals and was the cynosure of all eyes with her sterling performance
The 15-year-old won gold in the 100 metres sprint, gold in the 200 metres and powered her team to gold in the 4×100 metres relay. She also won gold in Volleyball. Her blistering pace set her apart and when she moved, she ran like a cheetah.
At the closing ceremony, she was given an ovation, with many people jostling to take pictures of the golden girl, for the sake of history.
She is gifted and it is plain to see. The versatile 15 year old started her progress early. In March, she was the highest goal scorer in her school’s football event at the annual Inter-house Sports Competition. That was not enough for the highly gifted Progress, she further won three gold medals in track events. It is safe to say that she is made for gold. Everything she touches in sports turns to gold
This is time to harness this gift and set her on a part of stardom, to represent the country in the near future, perhaps in the junior athletics.
Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Nse Uko Imaobong, Grace Nwokocha, Joy Udo Gabriel, Rosemary Chukwuma, and other stars started as young girls and the result of being proactive is clear
Progress is an SS1 student of the Presbyterian Model School, Ehere Road Ogborhill Aba. It is safe to say that soon, her journey will be “from Aba to the world”.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria and local athletics coaches should seek out this gem and make her the next Tobi Amusan or Chioma Ajunwa.
The Abia State Government and the Sports Ministry can adopt this budding star and help actualise this dream, that of winning gold medals at the bigger stage. The National Sports Festival is a good start
Eke Progress Nwakaego has risen, the golden girl is set to fly on the tracks and her target is to win gold