Team Nigeria clinches Gold in mixed 4x400m at World U-20 Champs in Nairobi
Team Nigeria’s quartet of Imaobong Uko, Bamidele Ajayi, Opeyemi Oke, and Johnson Nnamani have made history as they emerged champions of the mixed 4x400m relays at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Not only did the team clinch Gold in the event at the Nyayo Sports Complex on Wednesday evening, they did so clocking a new Championship Record (CR) of 3:19.70.
Nigeria had entered the final earlier in the day with the fastest overall time (3:21.66) in the heats which was a Championship Record at the time, but they yet had to dig deep and pretty up that record in the final as they produced a strong finish through Bamidele Ajayi, who ran the anchor leg, to clinch Gold ahead of Poland and India who settled for Silver and Bronze respectively.
Only few days after representing Nigeria at the Olympics in the event, Imaobong Uko made sure her experience came in handy for the junior team on Wednesday as she took the 2nd leg in the final. Uko’s impressive run gave Nigeria good momentum in the 3rd leg which was taken by Opeyemi Oke.
Unlike at the Olympics where we saw Patience Okon George take the last leg, a male athlete Ajayi was the anchor for Nigeria on Wednesday evening but he had it all to do in the final 200m at which point he was yet lagging behind Poland’s Patryk Grzegorzewicz. But the Polish youngster just couldn’t catch up with the Nigerian in the home straight once his lead was overturned.
Poland had to settle for Silver in 2nd place with 3:19.80 just as India got Bronze after finishing 3rd with 3:20.60.
Notably, Team Nigeria’s time in the final stands as the 2nd fastest time ever ran by U-20 athletes in the event, just behind USA’s World U-20 Record of 3:19.54, which they set at the World Youth Championships at Cali, Columbia in 2015