The Nigerian quartet of Samson Oghenewegba Nathaniel, Patience Okon George, Dubem Amene and Imaobong Nse Uko has made history as the first Nigerian 4x400m mixed relay team to qualify for the final of a global event after squeezing to the final of the 18th World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA on Friday.
The team ran a new personal season’s best time of 3:14.59 to take the last available spot reserved for the two fastest losers to secure the historic passage.
The quartet placed fifth in the first semifinal heat with Okon-George running a 50.72 seconds split while Amene also broke 46 seconds with his 45.79 seconds performance. Lead off runner, Nathaniel ran 46.12 seconds while Nse Uko returned with 51.96 seconds to anchor the team to a new season’s best.
The 3:14.59 seconds ran by the team is the second fastest behind Italy ran 3:13.89, also a personal season’s best to qualify for the final which will be run later Friday evening
Nigeria will now be among the eight best teams in the world to fight for the three medals on offer with the World Athletics Championships host, USA leading the way with a
3:11.75 world lead.
Netherlands (3:12.63), Dominican Republic (3:13.22), reigning Olympics champion, Poland (3:13.70), Ireland (3:13.88) and Jamaica (3:13.95) make up the final line up expected to be run at 19.50 pm (03.50am Nigerian time tomorrow).
Meanwhile, Oyesade Olatoye has made history as the first Nigerian, man or woman to participate in the Hammer throw event in the history of the championships.
The 25 year old threw 62.53m in her opening effort in the event but will need to improve significantly to eithert hit the qualifyimg mark of 73.50m or be at least among the 12 best performers in the two qualifying groups.
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