18 Oct 2020

Outlining the impact that table tennis has made in Nigerian sport, the country’s highest ruling sports body, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has listed the trio of Atanda Musa, Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike among the 60 sports icons listed to mark the 60th Independent Anniversary of Nigeria.

The list was announced at a well-attended event held at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Friday 16th October.

by Olalekan Okusan

Atanda Musa, now 60 year old, is one player from Nigeria that brought flair to the sport. Musa’s backhand play, and the loop associated with it remains his pièce de résistance and the 10-time African Singles champion, who currently lives in United States, has been recognised for his immense contribution to the sport in his native country Nigeria.

The icons were selected by voting from Nigerians across the globe with football stars like Nwankwo  Kanu, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Garba Lawal, Emmanuel  Amunike of the famed 1994 and Atlanta 1996 Dream Team dominating the list selected by a wide spectrum of Nigerians.

According to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, the icons were recognised in order to inspire the present athletes to also aim higher in their various fields.

Also star radio commentators Mazi Ernest Okonkwo and Dr Larry Izamoje, as well as Africa’s richest man and sports philanthropist Aliko Dangote; late Africa’s Pillar of Sports, Chief Moshood  Abiola and billionaire Chief Adebutu Kesington were also listed.

The colourful event was attended by Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Senator Adeleke, Minister of State for Health; Dr. (Mrs.) Ahmed S. Zainab, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning; Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,  Minister of Interior and Sharon Ikpeazor, Minister of State for Environment.

The 60 selected sports icons are:

  1. Chioma Ajunwa


  1. Mary Onyali


  1. Jighere Wellington


  1. Odion Aikhoje


  1. Duncan Dokiware


  1. Austin Okocha


  1. Kanu Nwankwo


  1. Feyisetan Are


  1. Blessing Okagbare


  1. Garba Lawal


  1. Lucy Ejike


  1. Falilat Ogunkoya/Atlanta 96 Women’s 4x400m Quartet


  1. Sunday Bada/Sydney 2000 Men’s 4x400m Quartet


  1. Football Dream Team, Atlanta 1996 Olympics


  1. Emmanuel Amunike


  1. Chika Chukwumeriji


  1. Davidson Ezinwa


  1. Odunayo Adekuoroye


  1. Modupe Oshikoya


  1. Peter Konyegwachie


  1. Olusoji Fasuba


  1. Nduka Ugbade/Sebastine Broadricks Emasuen/1985 GOLDEN EAGLETS


  1. Hogan Bassey


  1. Dick Tiger


  1. Samuel Peters


  1. Barcelona 92′ quartet (Men’s 4x100m Relay)


  1. Funke Oshonaike


  1. Segun Odegbami


  1. D’Tigress


  1. Segun Toriola


  1. Roland Ezuruike


  1. Mayegun Nojeem




  1. Israel Adesanya


  1. Super Eagles 1994


  1. Olumide Oyedeji


  1. Blessing Oborududu


  1. Tompraba Grikpa


  1. Chidi Imoh


  1. Christian Chukwu


  1. Ajibola Adeoye


  1. Stephen Keshi


  1. Atanda Musa


  1. Muda Lawal/Emmanuel Okala/Green Eagles 1980


  1. Daniel Amokachi


  1. Rashidi Yekini


  1. Teslim Thunder Balogun


  1. Perpetual Nkwocha


  1. Super Falcons


  1. Power Mike


  1. Flora Ugwunwa


  1. Lauretta Onye


  1. Sam Okwaraji


  1. Nduka Odizor


  1. David Izonrite


  1. Chief MKO Abiola


  1. Dr. Larry Izamoje


  1. Mazi. Ernest Okonkwo


  1. Alh. Aliko Dangote


  1. Chief Sir Kesington Adebutu
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