Olympics: Nigeria qualifies for men’s 400m hurdles and women’s 400m semi-final

Nigeria’s Amaechi Morton has qualified for the semi-finals of the London 2012 Olympics Games 400m men’s hurdles.

Morton came third in a time of 49.34secs.

Regina George and Omolara Omotosho also qualified for the semi-finals of women’s 400m race.

Regina won the heat race beating five other athletes in a time of 51.24secs.

Omotosho emerged fourth in Heat Three in a time of 52.11secs.

The semi-final of both race will hold on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium in London.

London 2012 Olympics: Team Nigeria begins quest for track and field honors

Team Nigeria men athletes begin their quest for honours in the track and field events of the London Olympic Games.

African 400m hurdles champion Amaechi Morton kick starts his debut appearance at the global showpiece in the heat 1 alongside Cuba’s Amaurys Valle, Jamaica’s Roxroy Cato and 5 other hurdlers.

Nigeria’s Stanley Gbagbeke who will compete in the long jump event faces a tough challenge from Christopher Tomlinson of the Great Britain, Mitchell Watts of Australia, John Kitchens of Usa and Mauro Da Silva of Brazil.

The female Heptathlon has already begun with Nigeria’s Uhunoma Osazuwa a distant 14th  1056 points on the table in the seven event game. Britain’s Jessica Ennis tops the standings with 1,195 points after setting a Heptathlon 100 metres hurdle record of 12.54 seconds.

The Heptathlon consists of seven elements, in this order:

Day 1: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m

Day 2: long jump, javelin throw, 800m

Athletes receive points relative to their performance in each element, with these scores added up over the course of the competition to determine the final placings.

The rules for each element apply as normal, with the exception that in the long jump and throwing events athletes are permitted three attempts only.



LONDON OLYMPICS: Nigeria is out of men’s 4x400m relay

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday confirmed that Nigeria’s 4x400m men’s relay team will not compete at the London Olympics.

This is contrary to the statement by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Monday which listed the team among the country’s contingent to the Games.

The Nigerian 4x400m relay team is made up of Saul Weigopwa, Abiola Onokoya, Isah Salihu, Tobi Ogunmola, Segun Ogunkole and Godday James.

The team ran 3:02.39 to win the gold medal at the just concluded 18th African Athletics Championships on Sunday in Porto Novo, and they were wrongly informed that the team made the cut for the Olympics.

However, the IAAF on Tuesday released the list of 16 teams that have qualified to participate in the event in London and Nigeria was not included in the list.

According to the IAAF report, “the qualification period for the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012 ended on Monday 2 July. The IAAF is pleased to confirm the following 16 teams, per each of the four relays, which have qualified to compete, are as follows…”

Until the victory in Port Novo, Nigeria was ranked out of the top 20 nations but moved to the 18th on the list following last Sunday’s personal season’s best performance in Benin republic.

South Africa and Kenya will be flying the continent’s flag in the London games which will kick-off in a few weeks.

Meanwhile Nigeria still stands a chance to make the games if two of the qualified countries drop out of the event at the quadrennial Games on their own volition.

Nigeria will thus not be competing in the men’s 4x400m relay at the Olympics.

Victory in past relays have accounted for some of the nine medals Nigeria has won in the athletics event of the Olympic Games.

AFN names 31 athletes for 2012 London Olympics

31 athletes have been chosen by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to camp in Surrey ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

The names of the athletes were released on Monday, by the AFN at a press conference in Lagos.

Blessing Okagbare who lost her 100m African to title to Gabonese star, Ruddy Milla at the African Athletics Championships in Benin Republic on Sunday, topped the list of the athletes.

She will compete in three events during the games in London i.e. 100m, long jump and the 4x100m relay

Other women on the list include Gloria Asumnu, Loretta Ozoh, Christy Udoh, Regina George Omolara Omotosho, Doreen Amata, Vivian Chukwuemeka and Wisdom Isoken.

Professional banker and international marathoner, Esther Obiekwe was also included in the list.

In the men’s category, Nigeria’s fastest man, Obinna Metu led the pack which includes Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Peter Emelieze, Selim Nurudeen, Amaechi Morton, Stanley Gbagbeke and Tosin Oke.

Three other athletes have been put on probation according to the president of the AFN, Solomon Ogba, who made this disclosure while presenting the list of the athletes to journalists in Lagos.

He said the athletes on probation will have to improve their timing to ‘A’ standard if they must make the final list for the games.

“I don’t expect our athletes to beat Usain Bolt and Yohan Blakes, but I’ll consider our performance as impressive if the athletes qualify for the semi-finals of their respective events” he said.


Nigeria wins African Athletics Championship

Nigeria has regained the leadership of Africa’s athletics by winning 10 gold, six silver and five bronze medals at the just concluded 18th African Athletics Championship in Port Novo.

Kenya came second with nine gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals, while South Africa, the 2008 champions came third with six gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals.

Nigeria set a total of three championships and one African record in the five-day competition with Vivian Chukwuemeka, setting a new African, national and championship record of 18.86m for shot put.

The shot put Queen, who is also a Commonwealth champion, toppled her 17.60m record which was set in Tunis in 2002, when she was crowned African champion for the first time.

Blessing Okagbare also erased Chioma Ajunwa’s 6.78m record with a new 6.96m record while the women’s 4x400m relay team erased the 3:29.26 record set by the quartet of Shade Abugan, Margaret Etim, Bukola Abogunloko and Ajoke Odumosu two years ago in Nairobi.

The victory of Nigeria’s men and women’s relay teams in the 4x400m race on Sunday, heralded Nigerian’s return to the summit of African athletics.

The women’s 1600 relay set the tone for an intriguing finish with a new championships record of 3:28.77 to beat Botswana led by individual 400m winner and reigning world champion, Amantle Montsho.

The quartet of Salihu Issah,Amaechi Morton,Abiola Onakoya and anchor-leg runner, Saul Weigopwa picked the gold with a new 3:02.39 seconds record to put Nigeria on top of the medals table 12 years after it last enjoyed that privilege in Dakar, Senegal.

Earlier, sprinters Gloria Asumnu and Lawretta Ozoh had won the gold and silver medals in the 200m with the former winning a photo-finish race with both athletes timed at 22.93 seconds.

In the men’s version, Noah Akwu made a surprise incursion into the medals arena by winning the bronze (20.83 seconds) in a race won by Cote d’Ivoire’s Ben Meite Youssef (20.62 seconds) who made up for his disqualification in the 100m.