Chierika Ukogu made history as Nigeria’s first female professional rower with her 2016 Rio Olympic debut. Miss Ukogu who prefers being called by her nick name “Coco” went ahead to further make history by winning a Silver Medal in the rowing event at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. The 23-year-old Nigerian-American Stanford graduate put her dreams of medical school on hold for two years while she was chasing her dream of becoming Nigeria’s first Olympic rower.
The road to Rio was a bumpy one and it was also self – funded. On Saturday, Ukogu made her Olympics debut in the first round of the women’s single sculls. She came in fifteenth overall (out of 32) with a time of 8:35.34, automatically qualifying her for the quarterfinals.
At Tuesday’s quarterfinals, Ukogu placed fifth in her heat and 18th overall (out of 24) with a time of 7:54.44, sending her to the C/D semifinals. “Best race so far, so I’m quite pleased,” she tweeted.
The semifinals, originally slated for Wednesday, went down Friday at 13:00 BRT (12PM EST).
Nigeria’s first Olympic rower is steadily gaining a following on twitter.