Nigeria’s pair of Rilwan Alowonle and Glory Nathaniel put up remarkable displays in the heats of the men and women’s categories of the 400m Hurdles on Tuesday to book their spots in the finals of the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Alowonle, who is donning the green and white colours of Nigeria for the first time, started on a high note as he held his own to finish 4th in a star-studded field in the men’s 400m Hurdles where he set a Personal Best (PB) of 49.49s to finish behind Jaheel Hyde (49.14s), Jack Green (49.24s) and Aron Koech (49.28s) in Heat 2 of the event.

His time was good enough to qualify him for the semis as one the fastest losers. However, teammate Henry Okorie wasn’t as lucky as he finished 7th in Heat 1 where he returned a time of 52.14s as Kyron McMaster dominated the race in a scorching 48.78s.

Meanwhile Glory Nathaniel was impressive in her first Commonwealth Games outing where she competed in Heat 2 of the women’s event. The Nigerian Champion enjoyed a strong start and held off Jamaica’s Ronda Whyte to finish 3rd, smashing her former PB of 55.30s set at the London World Championships last year, to set a new lifetime best of 55.01s.

Rita Ossai who competed in Heat 1 wasn’t as fortunate as she tripped at the beginning of her race and got injured in the process. As a result, she Did Not Finish (DNF) the race.

The women and men’s 400m Hurdles final come up on Thursday at 10.30am and 10.45am (Nigerian time) respectively.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

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