Team Nigeria lived up to pre-race Billings as the 4x400m mixed relay team won the gold medal in a new Championship record time of 3:19.70.
The quartet of Johnson Nnamani, Imaobong Nse Uko, Opeyemi Oke and Bamidele Ajayi also made history as the first winners of the event at the World U20 Championship, beating Poland (3:19.80) and India (3:20.60).
Team Nigeria made one change to the quartet that ran a then championship record of 3:21.66 in the semifinal by bringing in Nse Uko, the fastest girl in the quartermile coming to the championship and the 17 year old didn’t disappoint as she handed over the baton to third leg runner, Oke in first position.
Nse Uko has also qualified for the individual 400m final scheduled for Saturday and stands as the favorite restore Nigeria as World U20 champions since Bisi Afolabi succeeded Fatimah Yusuf as queen of the quartermile in 1994 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Meanwhile the duo of Godson Oghenebrume and Praise Ofokwu qualified for the 100m men and women’s final scheduled for Thursday.
Oghenebrume ran 10.22 seconds to win his semifinal heat while Ofoku was also first in her semifinal heat, clocking 11.57.
In the men’s javelin throw, Team Nigeria’s Chinecherem Nnamdi throw a massive new personal best and Nigeria U20 record of 78.03 to qualify for the final.
The 19 year old 2019 African Games bronze medal winner added almost 5cm to his previous best of 73.24m to jump to the queue as one of the favourites for the gold medal.
Nigeria has not won a medal in the event at the World U20 Championship and Chinecherem could make history when the final is held on Friday.
Good news after the shambolic performance of Tokyo 2020. If only we can create a system to harness these talents and prepare them for Los Angeles 2028 cos Paris appears short for me to start reaping the investment.