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Medal record
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  Nigeria
Olympic Games
Gold 1996 Atlanta Long Jump
World Indoor Championships
Silver 1997 Paris Long Jump

Chioma Ajunwa (born December 25, 1970 in Ahiara Mbaise Imo State), is a former athlete from Nigeria, who previously played football for the Nigerian women's team.[1] She is the first Nigerian to win an Olympic gold medal as well as the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event. She won the women's long jump at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, with a jump of 7.12m in her first attempt in the final.[2] She was also an officer in the Nigeria Police Force at the time.

She won a gold medal in the 1991 All-Africa Games.

Career highlights

Chioma Ajunwa first came to international notice when she won the long jump at the 1989 African Championships with a leap of 6.53m. Early the following year, she competed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland where she came fourth in the long jump, and ran the anchor leg of Nigeria's 4 x 100m relay team which won the bronze medal. In October that year, she not only successfully defended her long jump title at the African Championships, but also came second in the 100m, and was a member of the gold medal-winning Nigerian 4 x 100m relay team. In 1991, she won the long jump at the African Games with a new personal best of 6.67m, and as an indication of her athletic versatility, represented Nigeria in the 1991 World Cup soccer tournament. Ajunwa made rapid improvement in both her 100m and long jump performances in early 1992, but on 11 June, she received a four-year suspension for failing a drug test. Ajunwa's return in 1996 from this suspension was nothing short of spectacular. Less than two months after her return she finished fifth in her semi-final of the 100m at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games on 27 July, and then in the long jump final on 2 August, she produced an amazing first round leap of 7.12m to win the gold medal. The next day she ran the first leg for Nigeria in the 4 x 100m relay final in which they finished fifth. At the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Ajunwa jumped a huge 7.01m in the qualifying round of the long jump, but had to withdraw from the final when she injured herself on her first jump. Ajunwa did not compete in the 1999 World Championships, and did not compete at all during the 2000 season.

See also

References

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