Nigeria’s women’s 4x400m team comprising of the quartet of Nse Imaobong, Favour Ofili, Knowledge Omovoh, and Patience Okon-George have strengthened the countries hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics after they stormed to a Season’s Best of 3:26.83s at the Lagos State Open Athletics Championships which took place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
With five days to go before the qualifying window for the Olympics shuts, and the team missing out on the World Relays in Poland last month, a competition that would have seen them seal a spot if they had gotten to the final of the event, they were able to pull themselves together to make sure Nigeria presents a team in Tokyo, joining their 4x100m counterparts.
Although Amarachi Obi had blitzed to a fantastic opening leg for Nigeria’s Team B, thereby making the competition stiff, it was Patience Okon-George, the individual 400m Champion who covered a lot of ground on Yinka Ajayi on the anchor leg to bring home the baton for Nigeria’s Team A. Zambia finish 2nd.
The time ensures that Nigeria has now moved to 13th in the Qualifying Positions for the women’s 4x400m rankings, having occupied the 18th spot by virtue of their 3:30.32s run at the African Games in Rabat in 2019. Only 16 teams will qualify for the relay events at the Olympics.
Meanwhile, their male counterparts made up of the quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Samson Nathaniel, Sikiru Adeyemi, and Chidi Okezie couldn’t run faster than the 3:03.42 time they clocked at the African Games as they ran 3:05.34 to win the men’s 4x400m.
They are currently ranked 23rd in the Qualifying Positions for the men’s 4x400m rankings and would need to run faster than India’s (16th) 3:02.59 before June 29th.
Elsewhere, the men’s 4x100m team came unstuck in the final as the quartet of Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Jerry Jakpa, and Godson Brume could only manage a 38.68s clocking to claim victory. They had earlier raced to a time of 38.59s in the semis.
However, the time means that they still remain 18th in the Qualifying Positions for the men’s 4x400m rankings ahead of the deadline day for qualifying.