Nigeria set to make Olympic debut in Mixed 4x400m after breaking African Record at MoC Relays
Nigeria’s quartet of Patience Okon George, Nse Uko Imaobong, Chidi Okezie and Samson Nathaniel have snatched a provisional spot for the mixed 4x400m relays event at the Tokyo Olympics after clocking a new National Record and African Record time at the MoC Relays in Lagos on Sunday.
The interesting relays event, which sees two men and two women combine to form a team for the 4x400m relay race, will feature as an Olympic event for the very first time this year, and now, thanks to Okezie and co., Nigeria will be one of the first group of countries vying for glory at the event.
On Sunday, Okezie anchored Nigeria’s Team A in the race and the quartet did so well to clock a new African Record (AR) of 3:14.09 to claim the win over their compatriots in Team B (Yinka Ajayi, Amara Obi, Emmanuel Ojeli and Sikiru Adeyemi) and a team from Senegal. Their time is, by over two seconds, better than the previous AR of 3:16.21 set by a Kenyan team just two weeks ago in their home country.
Also with this new time, Nigeria has cracked into 15th place on the world rankings, meaning they will feature at the impending Olympics as the top 16 teams on the ranking are guaranteed a spot at the Olympics.
In another event held at same MoC Relays, Nigeria’s quartet of Jerry Jakpa, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Enoch Adegoke and Godson Brume narrowly missed out on an Olympic qualifying position although they won the men’s 4x100m with a Season’s Best time of 38.53s.
However, Nigeria is in a very good position to earn Olympic qualification in the women’s 4x100m event as the quartet of Blessing Okagbare, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha and Favour Ofili recently clocked a Season’s Best of 42.97s at the Nigeria Olympic Trials, moving into 15th place on the top list.
Nigeria also recently secured a very good spot on the qualification top list of the women’s 4x400m relay after a quartet of Patience Okon George, Nse Uko Imaobong, Knowledge Omovoh and Favour Ofili clocked a SB of 3.26.83 at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship last week.
The window for Olympic qualification for Athletics events closes on Tuesday, June 29.