Nigeria’s medal hopes in Athletics at the ongoing Olympics now rest solely on the women’s 4x100m quartet, after they qualified from Semi-Final 2 in 2nd place with a Season’s Best (SB) of 42.55s, after a dramatic race that saw medal favourites USA crash out after dropping the baton.

The Nigerian team comprising of Gloria Asumnu, Blessing Okagbare, Jennifer Madu and Agnes Osazuwa, ran from Lane 8, with Asumnu giving a good start before handing the baton over to Okagbare, who consolidated a strong position for Nigeria before handing over to Madu.

Osazuwa got the baton from Madu in 3rd place and ran a good final leg to usurp Trinidad & Tobago to finish 2nd behind Germany (42.18s) and qualify automatically for the final.

Interestingly, the performance from the ladies is a sigh of relief for the country, on a day where the other athletes in action had a seemingly disappointing outing, with both Stephen Mozia and Doreen Amata failing to qualify for the finals in both the Shot Put and High Jump respectively.

Okagbare and the rest of the team will hope to give their best shot and aim for a new SB in the final, if they’re to have a chance at a podium finish and win Nigeria’s first medal in Rio.

Meanwhile, USA’s women’s quartet have been given a chance to run for a spot in the final, after the IAAF cleared them to have a re-run later in the day. The team made an appeal to the IAAF Jury of appeal, stating that the 2nd leg runner for the Brazilian team, knocked the baton out of Allyson Felix hand.

A replay confirmed this argument and they’ve been re-instated to have a re-run by 8pm (Brazilian Time), which is 12am (Nigerian Time). But the team have to run faster than China’s 42.70s set in the Semi-Finals if they’re to have a spot in the final.

The 42.70s mark should be well within USA’s capabilities (SB 42.61s, PB/WR 40.82s), particularly without the pressure of running against other competitors. They will be running alone from the same lane, with the same quartet, in the same order! (Tianna Bartoleta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner & Morolake Akinosun)

However in the first Semi-Final, there wasn’t any drama as Jamaica were clear winners, racing to the finish line in an SB of 41.79s, with Great Britain coming 2nd in 41.93s and Ukraine 3rd in 42.49s.

Canada got one of the two fastest losing spots after clocking 42.70s, while China who had earlier gotten the last spot will have to wait for the outcome of USA’s re-run later in the day.


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!


  1. I don’t really agree… She did think quickly and efficiently realising that the US has heavy clout… I have clear video evidence to the contrary…. The Brazilian did NOT impede her neither caused her to drop the baton, the Brazilian was in the outside of her own lane, but did clash hands with the NON BATON holding (RIGHT) hand of Alison Felix, who had the Baton in her LEFT hand, ran some strides further with English Gardener also zooming off WITHOUT the Baton, Alison Felix sped after English Gardener shouting, Howling and then THREW the baton or should I say ATTEMPTED TO throw the baton into English Gardener’s hand when the BATON dropped….. I have the video to show all these details VERY CLEARLY….


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