It was yet another disappointing outing for Team Nigeria’s men and women’s 4x100m relay teams as they crashed out of reckoning at the ongoing 17th IAAF World Championships in Doha,Qatar, Completesports.com reports.
The relays have always provided Nigerians with something to look forward to at major Championships and Games but at the IAAF World Championahips in Doha, it brought heartache.
The women’s team placed seventh in a new 43.05 seconds personal season’s best and will not be in Saturday’s final as the team has once again failed in its attempt to make the podium after two fourth place finishes in 1991 and 2001.
The presence of African 200m record holder, Blessing Okagbare did inspire the team to a better time than the 43.49 seconds that fetched an All Africa Games gold in Rabat last August. It was however not good enough for a place in the final and early qualification for next year’s Olympics in Japan.
For the men’s team, it was an inglorious return to the championships after a 12 year absence. The last time Nigeria featured in the IAAF World Championships was in 2007 and it was an anticlimax as the team did not finish at the Nagai stadium in Osaka, Japan.
The team thus finished on an inglorious note but came back in Doha with great expectations as two of the quartet had broken 10 seconds this year (Divine Oduduru,9.86 and Raymond Ekevwo, 9.96 seconds) while another (Utshoritse Itshekiri) came with a 10.02 personal best achieved less than two months ago.
The team however failed to fulfil expectations as they not only came in last but later got disqualified for for violating an IAAF competition rule.
Attention will now shift to the women’s 4x400m on day 9 of actions at the championships but like in the 400 relays,nothing much is expected. The composition of the team was greeted with controversy as local athletics watchers wondered how athletes who came in seventh and eighth and deemed not good enough for the All Africa Games in September and may likely have shut down their seasons thereafter were suddenly picked ahead of athletes who finished third and fifth at the Nigeria trials in Kaduna.
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