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Nathaniel qualifies for 400m hurdles semifinals, Oke not good enough


Yinka Ajayi (far left) failed to qualify for the women 400m final at the on-going IAAF World Championships in London… yesterday.. PHOTO: AFP.

• George, Ajayi, Bamgbose fail to qualify for women 400m final

On a day Nigeria’s big hopes in the 400 metres women race failed to make the final of the event, Glory Onome Nathaniel chose the tracks of London to announce her arrival among the big girls in world athletics.

Nathaniel, a debutant in the IAAF World Championships, she ran a new personal best of 55.30 seconds to qualify for the semifinal of the women’s 400m hurdles.

Drawn in lane three of the fifth and final heat of the first round, Nathaniel finished third to pick one of the four automatic slots that qualifies her today’s semifinals.

However, Nigerians’ elation at the feat by Nathaniel was promptly dampened by the tepid showing of Yinka Ajayi, Patience Okon George and Margaret Bamgbose in the women 400 metres semifinals.

Ajayi, Bamgbose and Okon ran 52.10 seconds, 52.23 and 52.60 seconds respectively to fail in their bid to make today’s final of the event.In triple jump, African champion, Tosin Oke also failed to sail into the final of the event.

Oke, a finalist at the 15th edition of the championships two years ago in Beijing, China, jumped 16.17m, 83cm short of the 17.00m qualifying mark set for the event and will now watch the final as a spectator on Thursday night.The performance was the former British junior international’s worst since he made his debut at the championships in 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

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