Team Nigeria Day 1 Review at World Athletics Championships in Oregon
Team Nigeria athletes showcased brilliant outings on Day 1 of the ongoing World Championships in Eugene, Oregon by getting to the finals in two events.
The mixed 4x400m relay team kick-started events for Nigeria, with the duo of Samson Nathaniel and Patience George shaking off any stress and tired legs they may have had after arriving less than 24hrs to the start of the championship.
Nathaniel ran a strong lead off leg to hand over to George who built on this momentum, then handed the baton to Dubem Amene, with another brilliant third leg run and finally, Imaobong Uko took the baton home clocking a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:14.59 for fifth position, which guaranteed them a spot in the final as one of the fastest losers.
In the final, running against some of the best quarter-milers in the world, the quartet gave a good showing again. This time Uko and George switched run positions, as the former anchored the team to 6th place clocking a respectable 3:16.21.
African Champion, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi ensured he qualified for a second consecutive World Championship final, with a throw of 20.87m to finish 4th in his qualifying round. Teammate, Dotun Ogundeji’s throw of 18.35m in the second qualifying round, wasn’t enough for a final spot.
Meanwhile in the men’s 100m sprints, the duo of Favour Ashe and Raymond Ekevwo booked their spots in the semifinals, while Udodi Onwuzuruike couldn’t take a spot.
Ashe, the newly crowned Nigerian Champion ran his second fastest career time, clocking 10.oos to place 4th in his Heat, won by USA’s Fred Kerley with a massive 9.79s (the fastest heat time in World Championships history). Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes came in 2nd with 9.97s, while Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi finished 3rd in 9.99s.
Ekevwo, on the other hand secured the third automatic qualifying spot in his Heat with 10.17s. The race was won by USA’s Marvin Bracy in 10.05s. Nigeria’s third representative, Onwuzurike finished 6th in his Heat race clocking 10.26s.
African Champion in the women’s Hammer Throw Sade Olatoye, competed in her event, finishing 13th in her qualification group with a mark of 64.82m.
Overall it was a great Day 1 for Team Nigeria in Oregon, having two 100m semi-finalists, one Shot Put finalist, and the mixed 4x4oom relay against all expectations placing 6th in the final.
Day 2 events continues today by 5pm.