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Another bad day for Team Nigeria as George, Ofili crash out in 400m

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Nigeria’s Patience Okon George prepares to compete in the Women’s 400m heats at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Team Nigeria’s quest to register its name in the medals table at the on-going 2019 IAAF World Championship in Doha suffered another setback yesterday, as the duo of Patience Okon Geroge and Favour Ofili ended their 400m campaigns in the semifinals.

After the duo of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru lost out in the 200m events on Monday, Nigerians shifted attention to the women’s 400m yesterday with the hope that either George or Ofili would be able to rescue the situation.

But all aspirations went up in flame as the duo finished sixth in their separate semifinals. While George ran 51.89seconds to place sixth in the first semifinal, Ofili could only struggle to the finish line in the second semifinal, posting a disappointing 52.58seconds to also finish sixth.

Nigerian’s focus will shift to the women’s Discus Throw and Shot Put events today, with eyes on two U.S.-based athletes, Chioma Onyekwere and Oyesade Olatoye.

Olatoye and Onyekwere will make their debut for Nigeria at the IAAF World Championship a few weeks after striking gold at the Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco.

While Oyesade will seek to become the first Nigerian woman (and man) to make it to the final in the Shot Put event, Onyekwere is seeking a double, as she will be the first Nigerian woman to compete in the event at the Championship and also be the first to make the final.

Nigeria’s Patience Okon George prepares to compete in the Women’s 400m heats at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)


Both athletes are, however, not favourites in their respective events, as they will need to set new personal best to make the qualification standard set by the IAAF for the event.

Olatoye will have to throw 18.40m, the qualification mark set for the event or hope to be among the 12 best performers today. She holds a personal best of 17.88m, which she achieved earlier this year.

Only one Nigerian woman, Vivian Chukwuemeka has competed in this event, though she could not make it to the final on the four occasions she competed in the IAAF World Championship.

In the Discus Throw, Onyekwere will have to throw 63.00m, a clear 2m and 25cm above her personal best or also hope to be among the best 12 performers, if less than 12 athletes meet the standard. She has a Season Best of 60.75 meters.


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