Nigeria’s Patience Okon George made it through to the semifinals of women’s 400m at the Rio 2016 Olympics, after finishing 2nd in Heat 1 clocking a time of 51.83s. Okon George who started brightly from Lane 2, maintained her momentum down the home straight in order to nick the second automatic qualifying spot for the next Round.

Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann Mcpherson won the race comfortably in 51.36s, while Australia’s Anneliese Rubie despite having a strong challenge on Okon George down the home straight, settled for 3rd in 51.92s.

Meanwhile, Bronze medallist at the 2016 Nigerian Trials, Margaret Bamgbose also got a spot in the semifinals, after placing 3rd in her Heat running a time of 51.43s.

Although only the Top 2 had automatic qualifications to the semis, Bamgbose made it through by virtue of her time being one of the fastest losers. In fact, her Heat was the fastest with the race winner Phyllis Francis of USA, running the fastest time of 50.58s, while Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya was 2nd in a new National Record (NR) of 50.72s.

However, Okon George and Bamgbose will have to run faster in the semis by gunning for a sub-51s, if they’re to have any hope of sealing a final spot in the competition.

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Funmi Fameso is a Junior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She is a 2012 Graduate of Lagos State University, where she obtained a BSc in Microbiology. She worked as a Health Centre Laboratory Assistant during her NYSC year and since then she has worked as a Junior Sports Writer for her church’s youth magazine, Kingsword Youth Club Magazine. It was watching the Sydney 2000 Olympics that ignited her passion of sports, most especially Athletics. Sports means three things to her: Passion, Hard Work and Dedication!

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