Nigeria will join the ranks at the 2015 World Championships of swimming, naming a 3-person roster for next month’s international competition, according to the WSCA.
Nigeria’s team will be composed of two men and one woman: Ifeakachukwu Nmor, Samson Opuakpo and Rachael Tonjor.
Both Opuakpo and Tonjor are national record-holders for the nation.
Opuakpo is the best backstroker and distance freestyler in national history. He holds national records in all three backstroke distances, the 400 and 800 free, and the 400 IM. He’s a veteran for the Nigerian National Team, competing since at least the 2007 All-Africa Games, where he set a couple of national records.
Tonjor is another international vet, having won one of the nation’s three bronze medals at the 2011 All-Africa Games. Tonjor took third in the 50 breast there, setting a national record in the process.
She holds Nigerian records in the 50 and 100 breast in long course and short course, as well as the short course 100 IM.
The Nigerian federation is one of FINA’s smaller and lesser-known federations, and though its athletes won’t likely be in contention for any medals in Kazan, mere participation in the World Championships is a big step forward. Nigeria will match its roster total from the past two World Championships after sending 3 athletes in 2013 and 2011.
Prior to that, Nigeria hadn’t ever had an athlete participate in the World Championships since FINA began hosting them in 1973.