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Bad start for Team Nigeria in track, field

By Christian Okpara
14 August 2016   |   2:10 am
The first day of the track and field of the ongoing 2016 Rio Olympic Games turned out to be a disappointment for Team Nigeria, following the poor performance by the athletes.
Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare (L), Norway's Ezinne Okparaebo (C), and British Virgin Islands's Tahesia Harrigan compete in the Women's 100m Round 1 during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare (L), Norway’s Ezinne Okparaebo (C), and British Virgin Islands’s Tahesia Harrigan compete in the Women’s 100m Round 1 during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016.<br />Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The first day of the track and field of the ongoing 2016 Rio Olympic Games turned out to be a disappointment for Team Nigeria, following the poor performance by the athletes.

Apart from sprints queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, who cruised to a second place finish in her opening 100 meters heat, and Uhunoma Osazuwa, who is struggling for survival in the heptathlon event, all other Nigerian athletes fell by the way side.

Okagbare, a double Commonwealth Games champion is one of the heavyweights in the 100m. She made it to the semi-final from Heat Three yesterday with a time of 11.16 seconds behind USA’s Tori Bowie. She is expected to draw from her wealth of experience to surmount what seems an up-hill task in the semifinal race which held yesterday (9.14pm in Rio and 1.14 am Nigeria time).

While Okagbare scaled through in the 100m, it was a different story for the duo of Gloria Asunmnu and Jennifer Madu, who crashed out after recording poor times in their respective heats.

Madu ran 11.61 seconds to crash out in Heat Six, just as Asumnu finished fifth in Heat Two in a time of 11.55 seconds.

It was poorer for Team Nigeria in the men’s 400m heat, where the duo of Olusseini Idrissa and Orukpe Eraiyokan merely made up the numbers. While Idrissa ran a ‘schoolboy’ time of 50.06 seconds to finish last in Heat One, Eraiyakan ran 47.42 seconds to finish seventh in Heat Seven.