Team Nigeria’s Chierika Ukogu has qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s Single Sculls Rowing event at the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
For many, the country is gradually itching towards her first medal at the ongoing Rio Olympics and this is coming from an unlikely source.
Ukogu, 24, is the first Nigerian to represent the country in Rowing and she is very keen to go all the away in Rio.
The athlete, who is also a graduate of Stanford University, was grouped alongside two other Africans in her quarter final race.
One of them, Rouba Amina from Algeria, is with Ukogu in the semifinals.
Ukogu competed in quarter-final 3, to finish 5th in 7:54.44, with the race winner being Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen, who clocked 7:33.22, with Zimbabwe’s Micheen Thornycroft finishing runner-up in 7:34.38 while Canada’s Carling Zeeman was 3rd in 7:34.52.
A breakdown of how Ukogu rowed: in the first 500m she clocked 1:52.57 and then went on to 3:51.77 in 1000m, in the next 1500m her time was 5:52.26 which culminated in the 7:54.44 she posted. Although only the top three in each Heat automatically qualified to semifinals A/B, Ukogu’s time was ranked 18 overall in the quarterfinals, which was enough to book a spot in Semifinal C/D 1.
The US-born athlete will hope to get a berth Final A with a much faster time, when she competes today by 3:30pm (Nigerian Time), against Lithuania’s Lina Saltyte and Sweden’s Anna Malvina Svennung.

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