First Woman to Get Olympics Track Medal
Falilat Ogunkoya-Osheku is a Nigerian former track and field athlete, who was born 5 December in Ode Lemo, Ogun State, Nigeria. She holds the distinction of becoming the first Nigerian to win an individual track and field medal at the Olympic Games.
Ogunkoya has won a number of national championships, including a gold medal in 1996 in the 400 metres, gold in the 200 metres and 400 m in 1998, and gold again in 1999 and 2001 in the 400m. At the 1987 All Africa Games in Nairobi she won the silver medal in the 200 m. In 1995 at the All Africa Games in Harare she won the silver in the 400 m, and at the 1999 Games in Johannesburg she won a gold medal in the 400 m.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics Ogunkoya won a bronze medal in the 400 m, behind Marie-José Pérec of France and Cathy Freeman of Australia, in a personal best and African record of 49.10, which is currently the twelfth fastest of all time. It marked the first time a Nigerian athlete won a medal in an individual track and field event.
Since her retirement from the track, she has become the voice of the athletes of the country, giving her strength to ensure their welfare and voices are heard.