It took five years for Nigeria’s men’s 4x100m squad to earn another global medal after their Silver at the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain. The quartet that won Nigeria’s fourth World Championships medal included Olapade Adeniken, the Ezinwa twins – Osmond and Davidson – and a young Francis Obikwelu who won the sprint double the previous year at the 1996 World Junior Championships.

The dynamics of the quartet was quite unique. At the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, the Ezinwa twins and Obikwelu competed in the men’s 4x100m, so it wasn’t a challenge continuing that bond. The only difference from the team at the Atlanta Olympics was that Adeniken replaced Deji Aliu, but that was not a problem because the Ezinwas and Adeniken were part of the Olympic Silver-winning quartet in Barcelona.

The team formation was from Osmond to Adeniken and then Obikwelu, with Davidson running the anchor leg. They narrowly qualified out of their heats as one of the non-automatic qualifiers after placing 4th, but in the semifinals, they blazed to a then World Lead (WL) of 37.94s, which instantly made them favourites leading to the final.

In the final, Nigeria started solid but Canada was in the lead up until the third leg where Obikwelu attacked the curve fiercely to put Nigeria in the lead, handing the baton to Davidson who was a finalist in the men’s 100m. Ezinwa was in front for the first 40m until the reigning 100m Olympic champion Donovan Bailey overtook him to take the win for Canada in a new World Lead of 37.86s. Nigeria came through for Silver in 38.04s ahead of Great Britain (38.14s).

The 37.94s run by the Nigerian quartet in the semis remains the National Record, and was an African Record until 2019.

As the countdown to the 40th anniversary of the World Athletics Championships, along with the 2023 edition, set to hold in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19th to 27th, begins, we will highlight Nigeria’s medals won at the World Championships, which first started as a quadrennial event, but became a biennial one after the third edition held in Tokyo in 1991. Nigeria has won a total of 11 medals: two of them in the relays and nine from individual events!

Gregory Airende is an enthusiastic Sportswriter and Analyst who has an in-depth knowledge of various sports like Athletics, Football, Basketball, and Gymnastics. His work experience include being a content writer at The Athletic Heat, to a Football Analyst at Sportskeeda and now a Junior Sportswriter at Making of Champions.


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