Nigeria’s mixed 4x400m broke the African Record (AR) and National Record (NR) as Chidi Okezie anchored the squad to a new time of 3:14.09, taking four seconds off their previous benchmark of 3:18.53 while competing at the Paga/Making of Champions Relays which took place at the Sports Complex of the Yaba College of the Technology.
With Nigeria fielding an A and B team, it was the A team made up of Nse Imaobong, Samson Nathaniel, Patience Okon-George, and Okezie who went with a woman-man-woman-man format to ensure Nigeria will make its debut at the Olympics in the event.
Team B made up of Yinka Ajayi, Sikiru Adeyemi, Amarachukwu Obi, and Emmanuel Ojeli came through for second, while Cheik Diouf anchored Senegal to third.
The results ensure that Nigeria has now moved to 15th in the Qualifying Position, usurping the Czech Republic who previously occupied the spot in the mixed 4x400m rankings.
The squad had occupied the 25th spot by virtue of the previous time they clocked while competing at the PVAMU Track Stadium, Texas, in May. Only 16 teams will qualify for the relay events at the Olympics.
It was a different tale for the men’s 4x100m team as they missed out on the qualifying time by the skin of their teeth as the quartet of Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Jerry Jakpa, and Godson Brume ran 38.63s to claim victory in the semis.
Despite a change in formation in the final, with Brume and Adegoke swapping places, they could only shave 0.1s off their earlier run which still puts them in 18th in the Qualifying Position ahead of the deadline on the 29th.
Elsewhere, Senegal ran the fastest time they have run in 25 years, winning the men’s 4x400m with a Season’s Best of 3:04.82. They had previously run their NR at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when they clocked 3:00.64.
In some of the individual results, Senegals Osmanne Sidibe won the men’s 400m Hurdles final in 51.42, while Nigerian Champion over the distance, Abasiono Akpan won the women’s final with 58.82s.