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Chidi Imoh, Israel Adesanya, Okocha, Izamoje make sports icon list

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One of Nigeria’s greatest sprinters of all time, Chukwudi ‘Chidi’ Imoh, former Super Eagles team captain, Austin Okocha, Nigerian-born, New Zealand based Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Israel Adesanya and Sports journalist and pioneer owner of sports radio station in the country, Dr Larry Izamoje were among the 60 sports icons released in Abuja yesterday.

Chidi Imoh won an Olympic silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay at Barcelona ‘92 Olympics. He also won a silver medal in the 100 metres at the 1986 Goodwill Games, finished behind Ben Johnson and ahead of Carl Lewis.

Okocha was in the all-conquering Super Eagles squad that dazzled the world at USA ’94 FIFA World Cup as well as Atlanta ’96 Olympics.

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On his part, Dr Izamoje pioneered specialised sports radio in the country when he launched his Brila FM radio station in Lagos in 2002. The station now has branches in Kaduna, Abuja and Onitsha.

Another media man that made the list is the legendry sportscaster, Ernest Okonkwo who died 30 years ago. He made commentaries on radio a delight in his lifetime.

The remaining icons comprise of the usual suspects. Members of the Super Eagles teams of 1980, 1994, Atlanta 1996 as well as track and Field and boxing dominated the list that was unveiled during the celebration of Nigeria’s most outstanding sports icons of the last sixty years.

The event took place at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja yesterday.

According to a press release from the media aide to the Nigerian sports minister, the icons will have their pictures on display for 60 days.

According to the votes cast to pick the stars through various platforms, mercurial Super Eagles players like Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Garba Lawal, Emmanuel Amuneke of the famed 1994 and Atlanta 1996 Dream Team were selected by a wide spectrum of Nigerians.

Also selected are the 1980 Green Eagles that won Nigeria’s maiden Nations Cup on home soil with team captain Christian Chukwu and Segun Odegbami listed individually.

Emmanuel Okala and Mudashiru Lawal were also picked as symbols of the 1980 Green Eagles.

The Golden Eaglets of 1985 that paraded the likes of Nduka Ugbade, Victor Igbinoba and coached by Sebastian Brodricks – Imasuen were also recognised.

Nigerian first Olympics medallist Nojeem Maiyegun, first individual gold medallist, Chioma Ajunwa and Mary Onyali were listed.
Also on the list are legendary footballer, Tesilimi Balogun, Sunday Bada, Olawunmi Majekodunmi, Samuel Igun as well as world boxing champions Horgan Kid Bassey and Dick Tiger.

Most of the selected icons were either Olympic medallists or winners at the Commonwealth Games.

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Moshood Abiola and Chief Adebutu Kesington among others also made the icons list as sports philanthropists.

Below are the names of the unveiled 60 Sports Icons
1. Chioma Ajunwa
2. Mary Onyali
3. Jighere Wellington
4. Odion Aikhoje
5. Duncan Dokiware
6. Austin Okocha
7. Kanu Nwankwo
8. Feyisetan Are
9. Blessing Okagbare
10. Garba Lawal
11. Lucy Ejike
12. Falilat Ogunkoya/Atlanta 96 Women’s 4x400m Quartet
13. Sunday Bada/Sydney 2000 Men’s 4x400m Quartet
14. Football Dream Team, Atlanta 1996 Olympics
15. Emmanuel Amunike
16. Chika Chukwumeriji
17. Davidson Ezinwa
18. Odunayo Adekuoroye
19. Modupe Oshikoya
20. Peter Konyegwachie
21. Olusoji Fasuba
22. Nduka Ugbade/Sebastine Broadricks Emasuen/1985 GOLDEN EAGLETS
23. Hogan Bassey
24. Dick Tiger
25. Samuel Peters
26. Barcelona 92′ quartet (Men’s 4x100m Relay)
27. Funke Oshonaike
28. Segun Odegbami
29. D’Tigress
30. Segun Toriola
31. Roland Ezuruike
32. Mayegun Nojeem
33. SAM IGUN
34. Israel Adesanya
35. Super Eagles 1994
36. Olumide Oyedeji
37. Blessing Oborududu
38. Tompraba Grikpa
39. Chidi Imoh
40. Christian Chukwu
41. Ajibola Adeoye
42. Stephen Keshi
43. Atanda Musa
44. Muda Lawal/Emmanuel Okala/Green Eagles 1980
45. Daniel Amokachi
46. Rashidi Yekini
47. Teslim Thunder Balogun
48. Perpetual Nkwocha
49. Super Falcons
50. Power Mike
51. Flora Ugwunwa
52. Lauretta Onye
53. Sam Okwaraji
54. Nduka Odizor
55. David Izonrite
56. Chief MKO Abiola
57. Dr. Larry Izamoje
58. Mazi. Ernest Okonkwo
59. Alh. Aliko Dangote
60. Chief Sir Kesington Adebutu

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