• Men’s 4x100m Team Still On 17th Spot
• Nigeria Stripped Of Commonwealth Games Gold Medal For Doping
Amidst anxiety, Team Nigeria women’s 4x400m relay squad, yesterday, secured their ticket to the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships at the Deji Tinubu/Lagos Series, which ended at Yaba Technical College.
Nigeria and two West African countries, Ghana and Benin Republic, battled for the relay qualification marks in Lagos, yesterday.
Last week in Lome, Togo, Team Nigeria’s men and women’s 4x400m relay teams moved a step closer to qualifying for the World Championships after impressive displays at the CAA Region II Senior Athletics Championships.
But yesterday, at Yaba College, Nigerian women 4x400m quartet romped into the top 16 qualification zone, and are hopeful of holding their 15th position till the July 30 deadline. The team finished in 3.27.61 seconds to displace Dominican Republic from the 15th spot.
Comeback queen, Omolara Omotosho, started the race on a good note and Patience Okon- George, dug deeper knowing the team was competing against time, and not the field featuring Ghana and Benin Republic. Ella Onojuvwewo kicked in before Imeobong Nse Uko, egged on by a cheering crowd, sped like a newly retooled engine to breast the tape for the heartwarming performance.
But it was not a sweet ending for the men’s 4x400m team despite a good start by Dubem Nwachukwu and reinforced by Ezekiel Nathaniel, Samuel Ogazi and Chidi Okezie couldn’t push hard enough to get the run they needed to qualify. They managed a 3.02.64 seconds finish, which leaves them in the 19th position.
The atmosphere at the Yaba Technical College was supercharged awaiting the men’s 4x100m final race.
Last week in Togo, the Nigerian men’s 4x100m team ran 38.72sec to move a step closer to the qualification spot. They improved to 38.56seconds during the semifinal at the Lagos Series, yesterday morning.
Rather than cut it down as expected, the quartet of Ashe Favour, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Alaba Akintola and Godson Brume ran 38.65seconds in the final in the evening to remain on the 17th spot in the qualification.
Before yesterday’s Lagos Series at Yaba Tech, Team Nigeria had secured qualification in the women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay.
Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) officials, including the President, Tonobok Okowa, Secretary-General, Rita Mosindi, board members, Omatseye Nesiama and Solomon Alao, could not contain their excitement at the venue, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Nigeria s women s 4x100m relay team at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have been stripped of their gold medal following the disqualification of Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, who was found guilty of doping by the Commonwealth Games Federation Court.
England have now been promoted to first place, followed by Jamaica and Australia. Nwokocha had run the anchor leg as Nigeria crossed the finish line 0.21 seconds ahead of England in a thrilling race at Alexander Stadium on August 7.