It was a bittersweet experience for Team Nigeria on Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary. Team Nigeria started on a rough note as the mixed 4x400m quartet comprising Dubem Nwachukwu, Patience Okon-George, Ezekiel Nathaniel, and Imaobong Nse Uko finished 7th in their heat in an SB of 3:14.33s, which automatically took them out of final.
In the men’s Shot put, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi narrowly missed out a place in the final after placing 13th overall with a throw of 20.68m. This would be the first time since 2017 that the Nigerian Record holder would miss out on a final in either or global or continental event.
Ese Brume and Ruth Usoro went all out in the women’s Long Jump but unfortunately only the former progressed as the latter narrowly missed the final with a 6.60m jump that placed in 13th place. Brume’s qualifying jump was 6.72m while finishing in 4th place in her group.
The afternoon session brought a sense of rejuvenation for Team Nigeria as Seye Ogunlewe (10.07s) got an automatic qualification spot for the semis after placing 3rd in Heat 1. Usheoritse Itsekiri (10.17s) maintained the momentum as he also placed 3rd in his heat to advance to the next round. Sadly, Favour Ashe got disqualified after a 10 minutes delay on the track because of noise from the stands.
Team Nigeria will be hoping to get some reprieve as the Championships progress.