On this day 28 years ago, the Nigerian women’s 4x100m quartet of Beatrice Utondu, Faith Idehen, Christy Opara-Thompson and Mary Onyali at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, produced a historic run, storming round the track in a time of 42.81s to win the Bronze medal.

Beatrice Utondu brilliantly led off the team, passing the baton well to Faith Idehen who ran a great backstretch and handed the baton to Christy Okpara-Thompson.

Coming off the final turn, Nigeria was slightly behind France in 4th but Mary Onyali’s grit wrestled away with the endurance of Marie-José Perec over the final 100m, eventually clinching the Bronze medal in an interesting finish. The United States with the win, also staged a powerful race to pull clear of The Unified Team as they both took GOLD and Silver respectively in 42.11s to 42.16s.

With the same lineup, the Nigerian team had broken the National Record (NR) and African Record (AR) in 42.39s from the preliminaries behind Jamaica (42.28s) and ahead of France (42.58s). Till today, their time still stands as the Area Record in the event.

Athletics is a special shade of life for me, and my confidence has received a boost since I started out covering the sport from the stands of my home, and now as a Junior Sportswriter with Making of Champions - an opportunity to get better at what I do.


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