It has been a Championship to forget for Nigeria at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, as the country’s teams failed to qualify for the finals of the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay races.
The Nigerian quartet of: Simon Oshasha, Ayotoluwa Agusto, Chukwuma Onyeaku and Peter Tega Odele, competed in heat 1, finishing 5th with a time of 40.45s. Odele Tega who eventually made the trip to Korea, having missed his 100m and 200m races that he was registered to compete in, anchored for Nigeria in the 4x100m.
Nigeria’s heat produced the fastest time of all three heats, with Japan coming through in the race in a time of 38.93s, which is their Season’s Best (SB). In that same heat, Ghana also ran a SB of 39.99, but it was not enough to see them through to the final.
In the men’s 4x400m relay race, the Nigerian quartet of: Adedamola Adeniji, Simon Oshasha, Chukwuma Madunta and Seun Olaniyi were disqualified from heat 2. Earlier this year, both Olaniyi and Madunta were at Making of Champions’ Top Sprinter auditions held in Ibadan and Enugu respectively.
South Africa ran the fastest time in the first round of the 4x400m, clocking a time of 3:04.79 to win heat 1. Bostwana will be happy to progress, having qualified as the fastest losers, finishing 3rd in heat 1 with a time of 3:09.86, their SB.
With the final events in Athletics set to be concluded on Sunday, Nigeria might look back and wonder what could have been at this Games if the preparations had been more organized. Given that eight of Nigeria’s thirteen Olympic medals in Athletics were in the relays, these are events Nigeria could realistically dominate at global competitions if we were serious about it.