Nigeria’s Chierika Ukogu has qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s single scull rowing event in Rio. The Stanford University graduate became the first Nigerian to compete at the Olympics in rowing and has now gone one better as she is one event away from being in the finals of the event.

Nigeria has traditionally focused its attention and resource on its participation in football and athletics where it has won the majority of its Olympic medals. This has led to athletes of other sports decrying the lack of support offered to them by the Nigerian sports administrators in sports they feel could so easily return medal glory for the country. It is therefore a testament to Chierika’s determination that she has qualified for the semi-finals, clocking a qualification time of 7:54.44.

Chierika, also known as ‘Coco’ according to her gofundme page, that she is using to independently raise funds for her stay in Rio, will be competing tomorrow in one of six semi-final events.