After a gloomy Day 1 for Nigeria at the ongoing IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, there was a bit of cheering news on Day 2 as the quartet of Jerry Jakpa, Enoch Adegoke, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Emmanuel Arowolo raced to a National Record (NR) of 1:22.08 to place 4th in Heat 2 of the men’s 4x200m on Sunday.
Drawn in Lane 8 in a race that had a highly rated South African team, as well as Germany, China, Japan and Brazil, Jakpa ran a superb first leg to put the team in a comfortable position, handing the baton to Adegoke who has had an impressive display in his World Relays debut. Former Nigerian Champion Egwero took the third leg, while Arowolo gave his all to hold off the threat posed by Japan, finishing 4th in the race to qualify for the final.
South Africa’s quartet of Jon Seeliger, Anaso Jobodwana, African U18 200m Champion – Sinesipho Dambile, and Chederick Van Wyk, broke the African Record in the event, setting a new time of 1:20.64 to win the race ahead of Germany (1:21.63) and China (1:21.70).
The New Nigerian Record eclipses the former mark of 1:24.43 set at the 2015 Penn Relays by Divine Oduduru, Nicholas Imhoaperamhe, Robert Simmons and Orukpe Erayokan.
Nigeria finished 5th overall in the rankings and will compete in the final where they have been drawn in Lane 2. They will face Japan, USA, Bahamas, South Africa, Germany, China and Kenya.