It was a mixed bag for Team Nigeria in the men’s relays as the 4x100m squad advanced to the final while the 4x400m men, despite finishing in 2nd place originally in their heat, were disqualified after running the heats at the Carrara Stadium on Friday morning.

Enoch Adegoke shot out of the blocks while competing in Heat 2 and established a good start for Nigeria, handing over the baton to Usheoritse Itsekiri who maintained a good pace, with Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Seye Ogunlewe running the 3rd and 4th legs respectively to finish 3rd behind England (38.15s) and Jamaica (38.44s), clocking a Season’s Best (SB) of 38.52s.

Nigeria finished 3rd overall in the standings and will be joined in the final by South Africa (38.71s), Australia (38.78s) and Sri Lanka (39.47s).

It was a day to forget for the 4x400m quartet of Orukpe Erayokan, Samson Nathaniel, Isah Salihu and Chidi Okezie who had initially finished 2nd behind Botswana in Heat 1. However, Nigeria was subsequently disqualified for a lane violation, and will not compete in Saturday’s final.

The host team Australia who initially clocked an SB of 3:04.22 to finish 4th, were also disqualified in Heat 2.

It was also an off outing for England as first leg runner Matthew Hudson-Smith appeared to have pulled a hamstring and collapsed on the track, dashing the country’s hopes of competing in the final.

Qualifying from Heat 1 are Botswana (3:05.01, SB), Kenya (3:13.52) and Fiji Islands (3:19.19), while Jamaica (3:03.97), India (3:04.05), the Bahamas (3:04.62), reigning World Champions Trinidad and Tobago (3:05.84) who finished a distant 5th in their heat before being upgraded to 4th position, as well as Turks and Caicos Islands (3:13.70, National Record), qualified from Heat 2.

The men’s 4x100m final takes place on Saturday at 5.40am, Nigerian time, while the women’s race, which is a straight final, follows at 5.57am. The women and men’s 4x400m relays come up at 7.38am and 8.07am 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 African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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