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Chioma Onyekwere Biography: Inside The Life Of Nigerian Track And Field Athlete

Chioma Chukwujindu “CiCi” Onyekwere is a Nigerian track and field athlete who specialises in the discus throw. She has represented Nigeria in shotput and discus throw competitions at the collegiate level as well as internationally. She also holds the national record for discus throw in Nigeria. In 2021, she threw the discus 63.30 metres, which was a personal best.

She was a student-athlete at the University of Maryland for four years and received awards from the Big Ten and the ACC for her academic accomplishments. She also served as one of the team captains.

Early Life and Education

Chioma was born on June 28, 1994, in Lansing, Michigan, in the United States of America before moving to Nigeria with her family. She was born to Mr Chima and Mrs Scholar Onyekwere, who also gave birth to triplets, Chidinma and Chima, and older siblings, Emeka and Kay.

Onyekwere grew up in Nigeria and moved to Fairfax, Virginia in 2002 with her family. She attended James W. Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA, before she moved to the higher educational institution and graduated from the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland in Winter 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Career

Pre-Collegiate Career

Onyekwere attended James W. Robinson High School in Fairfax, Virginia, where she participated under the tutelage of former Maryland thrower, Beau Fay. In addition to being a multiple-time district champion, Onyekwere holds the district record for the shot put two times. She was the Regional Champion in 2011 and 2012, was third in the state both years and finished fifth at the National Championships in 2012.

Collegiate (University of Maryland) Career 

Chioma began her studies in the fall of 2012 at the University of Maryland, where she joined the track and field squad headed by former US Olympian Andrew Valmon.

In Maryland’s inaugural Big Ten Conference season in 2015, Onyekwere took home her first medal at the collegiate level. Onyekwere won a silver medal in the shot put at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships with a best throw of 16.06 metres (52′ 8.25″). For the indoor season, she received 2nd team All-Big Ten recognition. She won a bronze medal at the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a top throw of 16.10 metres (52′ 10″), continuing her shotput dominance into the outdoor season. She added a top 10 conference finish at this meet by placing 7th in the discus throw.

By winning a silver medal in the weight throw at the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championship, Onyekwere completed her career. In addition to being a personal best, her top mark of 21.17 metres (69′ 5.5″) also broke a school record that had lasted for 14 years. At this event, she finished sixth in the shot put as well. Her record-breaking throw not only earned her 2nd Team All-Big Ten recognition for the second consecutive year, but it also qualified her for the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field National Championships. She was named to the 2016 Indoor Season’s Second Team All-American team for her performance in this event.

Onyekwere broke a Discus Throw school record that had stood for 34 years at the UVA Quad Meet in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a throw of 52.4 metres (171′ 11″). She later broke the discus record with a throw of 54.43 metres (178′ 7″) at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Using this throw, a bronze medal was earned. Onyekwere also set a new personal best in the shot put with a throw of 16.85 metres (55′ 3.5″), giving her a second team Big-Ten honour, a silver medal, and her fifth Big Ten medal overall. She next competed in the Shotput and Discus events in the NCAA East Regional Championships, where her 11th-place performance in the Shotput earned her a spot in the NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships. She received an All-American Honourable Mention for the 2016 Outdoor Season at the conclusion of the campaign.

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Post-Collegiate Career

Onyekwere received an invitation to take part in the 2016 African Championships in Athletics in Durban, South Africa as a member of the Nigerian Senior National Track and Field Team. At these games, she won two bronze medals. She finished third in the discus behind compatriots Nwanneka Okwelogu and Chinwe Okoro, completing a Nigerian podium sweep, and also had her best throw in the shot put, which earned her third place, was 15.71 metres.

Onyekwere made the decision to concentrate her efforts completely on the discus throw at the 2018 African Championships in Athletics held in Asaba, Nigeria. Onyekwere put on a good display and won a gold medal in the discus throw with a throw distance of 58.09 metres, which was a personal best and qualified her to represent Team Africa at the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic. She was fourth overall and recorded the furthest distance of any African discus thrower in the tournament, with a maximum throw of 56.68 metres.

She took home the gold medal from the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco. Her winning throw, which measured 59.91 metres, also set a Discus Throw record at the African Games. Furthermore, Onyekwere competed in the Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship where she reached 13th position, just one spot short of moving on to the finals, after throwing a personal best throw of 61.38 metres in the qualifying round.

Onyekwere has added to the Nigerian medal table by winning gold in the women’s discus at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games by throwing an SB of 61.70.

International Competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2016 African Championships Durban, South Africa 3rd Shot put 15.71 m
2016 African Championships Durban, South Africa 3rd Discus 53.91 m
2018 African Championships Asaba, Nigeria 1st Discus 58.09 m SB
2018 Continental Cup Ostrava, Czech Republic 4th Discus 56.68 m
2019 African Games Rabat, Morocco 1st Discus 59.91 m GR
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 13th (q) Discus 61.38 m SB
2021 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, London 1st Discus 61.70.m SB

International Titles

  • African Championships in Athletics
  • Discus Throw: 2018
  • African Games
  • Discus Throw: 2019

Net Worth

Her net worth is currently unavailable.

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Written by PH

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