Nigerian Olympian Star tries Chess!
Nigeria Nigeria Nigeria

Patrick Andrew & Abdulraheem Aodu, "Ajunwa Finds Solace in Chess," Daily Trust, 13 May 2004 (Abuja, Nigeria).

Multi-talented and banned 1996 Olympic long jump gold medallist, Chioma Ajunwa says life must go on after all the controversies that surrounded her athletics career. She was spotted at the chess board of the on going 14th National sports festival, representing her home-state Rivers State.

Speaking to shortly after disposing of her opponent in the opening game, the woman who picked the first ever individual Olympic gold medal for Nigeria, said she decided to continue her life as a sports woman by playing Chess having committed her life ban to God.

"Life must certainly go on and that much you can see here," she told She berated the decline of athletics competitions in Nigeria and the many crises tearing the athletics federation apart.

Chioma Ajunwa (Nigeria), long-jump gold medallist at 1996 Olympics. Photo by Al Tielemans.

Chioma Ajumwa
(Photo by Al Tielemans)

The Nigeria police Deputy Superintendent lamented the disappearance of the glamorous athletic classics and other championship in the AFN calendar, stressing that these competitions where the testing grounds of budding stars, adding 'it's rather unfortunate that the athletics federation are busy running down star athletes instead of developing the younger ones and encouraging the established stars through well programmed competitions.

Chioma started her sporting career as female footballer before moving on to athletics and subsequently capturing the Olympic goal medal in long jump and now chess, her sporting it seems, is inexhaustible.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 16 May 2004