Nigeria’s 10th 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 Florence Uwakwe) do at this 2nd World Relays ?


Team Nigeria’s Bronze Medal winning quartet in the women’s 4×100 metres at the Beijing 2008 Olympics!
Team Nigeria’s Bronze Medal winning quartet in the women’s 4×100 metres at the Beijing 2008 Olympics!


The World Relays is a new annual competition (the 2nd edition being held in The Bahamas on May 2nd/3rd), 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 the Top 8 teams in both the 4x100m and 4x400m events automatically qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For viewers in Nigeria and Africa, the World Relays will show LIVE on SuperSports on May 2nd from 10.50pm – 3.00am on SS7N/SSL, and 11:50pm – 03:10am 0n SS6A/SSL on May 3rd (Nigerian Time). 

Bambo Akani is the Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC). He is an avid sports writer and photo-blogger, and has quickly become an internationally recognized Athletics Expert. He appeared in a new weekly Athletics segment on the Sports Tonight Show on Channels TV during the 2014 Athletics season and has also appeared on Jamaican Television and Radio to discuss the MoC "The History" Film that he Produced and Directed, and to review and analyse key events in world athletics.Bambo holds an MEng and BA in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University in the UK and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management in the US.


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