SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30, 2000: Alvin Harrison of the U.S. approaches the exchange zone to handoff to his teammate Antonio Pettigrew during the final of the Men's 4x400m Relay event of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games on September 30, 2000 at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

Nigeria’s 9th Relay Medal was won in the men’s 4×400 metres at the Athens Olympics by the quartet of James Godday, Musa Audu, Saul Weigopwa and Enefiok Udo-Obong . This is the last 4x400m medal that Nigeria has won on the global stage, and it’s also the last time any Nigerian man has won an Olympic medal in Athletics.  



Not since that Olympics has Nigeria had a quartet of male quarter-milers that can challenge for a Relay medal on the global stage. Godday was a 44.90s runner in his prime, back in 2008, though he can still be seen competing on the Nigerian Golden League circuit these days. Weigopwa was also a 45.00s runner, while Audu’s PB was 45.98s and Udo-Obong’s was 45.68s (though he ran an incredible 44 second split to help his other teammates to the 4x400m GOLD at the previous Olympics). Indeed for Nigeria’s men to make it back to contending for 4×400 Relay medals, we need at least three guys capable of going under 45 seconds – can we get back to this one day?

Can the present 4x400m team (including the likes of recent 400m National Champions Abiola Onakoya and Noah Akwu, and the Eko 2012 National Sports Festival Champion, Orukpe Erayokan) return Nigeria to the glory days and bring home a medal at the second World Relay Championships starting tomorrow?

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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