Nigeria competed in the semis of the men’s 4x400m and the final of the men’s Triple Jump event on Day 3 of the 16th World Indoor Championships taking place in Portland.
The 4x400m team was grouped in Heat 2 alongside world power USA, and their Caribbean neighbours, Jamaica. Nigeria was drawn in Lane 4, Jamaica Lane 5, and the US in Lane 6.
Chidi Okezie ran the first leg, handing the baton to Noah Akwu in 3rd position, with Biola Onakoya and Isah Salihu completing the rounds as USA maintained their lead from start to finish, winning in 3:05.41. Jamaica returned a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:07.30 in 2nd place, while Nigeria placed 3rd with an SB of 3:07.98.
However, the West Africans qualified for the final as one of the fastest losers, considering that their heat was quicker than Heat 1 which comprised of Belgium (3:07.39), the Bahamas (3:07.55), Trinidad and Tobago (3:07.83) and South Africa.
South Africa was the only country that didn’t make it to the final despite running a National Indoor Record (NIR) of 3:08.45. The final will take place on Sunday as the concluding event of Portland 2016, and Nigeria has been drawn in Lane 2, flanked by Trinidad and Tobago (Lane 1) and the Bahamas (Lane 3).
Tosin Oke finished 6th in the Triple Jump but was able to salvage an SB of 16.73m, which he got with his very first jump. The mark initially put him in contention for the Bronze medal, as only World Leader Bin Dong (17.18m) and Benjamin Compaore (16.77m) leapt higher at their first attempt.
However, Germany’s Max Hess set a Personal Best (PB) of 17.14m during his 4th jump, which eventually earned him the Silver medal, as Compaore took the Bronze with an SB of 17.09m. Nelson Evora and Omar Craddock took 4th and 5th with SBs of 16.89m and 16.87m respectively.
Dong upgraded to 17.33m to strike GOLD, becoming only the third Chinese after hurdler Liu Xiang (2008) and shot putter Sui Xinmei (1991) to win the ultimate prize at the World Indoors. Olu Olamigoke finished 14th with an SB of 15.94m in what was his debut outing on the global stage.