On the last day of the IAAF World Championships at the London Olympic Stadium, the quartet of Abike Egbeniyi, Patience Okon-George, Glory Nathaniel and Yinka Ajayi all lined up in the final of the women’s 4x400m, hoping to get Nigeria on the medals table.
After qualifying as the 4th fastest team in the heats, Egbeniyi who arrived London on Friday, joined the team in order to give them an added impetus going into the final.
While running the first leg, Okon-George kept herself within touching distance of the Americans and Great Britain, before handing over to Egbeniyi who ran the second leg. She continued with the pace for some time but eventually handed off to Nathaniel in 4th position.
Ajayi anchored the team while putting much effort in trying to get Nigeria back into medal contention, but the Polish team held on to finish 3rd in a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:25.41s. Nigeria crossed the line in 5th in a time of 3:26.72, a second less than they ran while storming to an SB in their heat.
Considering that Jamaica’s second leg runner Anneisha McLaughlin-Wilby pulled up with an injury and was unable to continue with the race, many thought that Nigeria would be able to take advantage of the eventual absence of the defending champions, but it was not to be.
Phyllis Francis, the individual GOLD medallist in the women’s 400m, anchored a strong Team USA to GOLD in a World Leading time of 3:19.02, while Great Britain won Silver with a time of 3:25.00.
This is the second consecutive time Nigeria has ended the IAAF World Championships without winning a medal.