Nigeria’s 10th and very last Relay medal on the global stage came at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the women’s 4x100m quartet of Franca Idoko, Halimat Ismaila, Gloria Kemasuode and Oludamola Osayomi, brought home the Bronze medal in 43.04 seconds, against all the odds, behind Russia and Belgium! (Agnes Osazuwa also won a Bronze medal by virtue of having run in the heats):
One can say that the stars aligned on this one for Nigeria, considering that Team USA was disqualified in the heats, while Team GB and a Jamaican quartet that was widely tipped to break the World Record, dropped their batons in the Final and did not finish! Indeed, the quartet at the following Olympics, which included Blessing Okagbare on the anchor leg, finished quicker in 42.64 seconds, but could only manage 4th place behind Team USA’s new World Record of 40.82s, and National Records for Jamaica and Ukraine in 2nd and 3rd place:
This was a classic case of Nigeria improving, but everyone else improving a whole lot more – can you imagine that our Bronze medal winning time of 43.04s at Beijing ’08 would not have even made the finals at London 2012? What will the current girls comprising Team Nigeria’s 4×100 quartet (Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumnu, Peace Uko and Endurance Abinuwa) do TONIGHT at the 1st ever World Relays, in the semis @ 10.45pm and possibly the finals @1.30am Nigerian time? It will show LIVE on the IAAF Official Channel on YouTube, and on SuperSport 6 (DSTV Channel 206) on TV!
The World Relays is a new annual competition (the 1st edition being held in The Bahamas on May 24th/25th), where the world’s best Track & Field nations will compete over 10 different events – 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m & 4x1500m (both men and women). There is a total prize fund of $1.4 million up for grabs, and for the 4x100m & 4x400m, the 2014 World Relays will serve as the qualifiers for the 2015 World Championships (as will the 2015 World Relays for the 2016 Olympics). For viewers in Nigeria and Africa, the World Relays will show LIVE on SuperSports and the IAAF Official YouTube Channel on May 24th/25th