Nigeria Wins U-20 Inaugural 4x400m Mixed Relay Championship
Team Nigeria made history on Wednesday by clinching gold in the 4x400m mixed relay event at the ongoing World U-20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
The quartet of Johnson Nnamani, Imaobong Nse Uko, Opeyemi Oke, and Bamidele Ajayi stormed to victory in a record time of 3:19.70, leaving the likes of Poland (3:19.80) and India (3:20.60) in their wake.
Nigeria made a change to the quartet that ran a then championship record of 3:21.66 in the semi-final by bringing in Nse Uko – the fastest girl in the quarter-mile coming to the race.
Nse, 17, didn’t disappoint her fellow compatriots as she handed over the baton to the third-leg runner, Oke in the first position.
Meanwhile, she has also qualified for the individual 400m final scheduled for Saturday and stands as a firm favourite to restore Nigeria as World U-20 champions, since Bisi Afolabi succeeded Fatimah Yusuf as queen of the quarter-mile in 1994 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Similarly, the duo of Godson Oghenebrume and Praise Ofokwu qualified for the 100m men and women’s final scheduled for Tuesday.
Oghenebrume ran a time of 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, Chinecherem Nnamdi threw a massive new personal best and Nigeria’s U-20 record of 78.03 to qualify for the final.
Nnamdi, the African Games bronze medalist added almost 5cm to his previous best of 73.24m to jump ahead of the queue as one of the favourites for the gold medal in the category.
Nigeria has not won a medal in the event at the World U20 Championship, but Chinecherem could make history at the final scheduled for Friday.