Nigeria’s 4x100m men’s squad in last chance salon in Cotonou today
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is optimistic that the country will pick the men’s 4x100m relay ticket in Cotonou, Benin Republic today, as the deadline for qualifications to Budapest 2023 World Championships draws closer.
Team Nigeria has secured three out of the five relay tickets, the women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and the mixed relay. The men’s 4x100m team has already missed the chance of grabbing the ticket in two previous attempts in Lome, Togo and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. Their men’s 4x400m counterparts may have crashed out of the race to Budapest.
At the African Region 2 relay event in Lome, Togo, the men’s 4x100m team ran 38.72 seconds to move a step closer to the qualification spot. They improved to 38.56 seconds during the semifinal at the Deji Tinubu/Lagos Series, last Friday, at Yaba College of Technology, only to flop in the final of the event, running 38.78 seconds following what an official of the AFN described as technical blunder on the part of the organisers, who shifted the final to six hours after the semifinal. It affected the athletes’ performance and Nigeria missed the opportunity of moving to the 15th spot.
Though, Team Nigeria’s men’s 4x100m is rooted on the 17th position on the qualification race, AFN feels the athletes will make amend in today’s event in Cotonou.
The athletes left for Cotonou two days ago, while the AFN President, Tonobok Okowa, and others joined them yesterday afternoon.
The Guardian learnt, yesterday, that Nigeria is presenting a mixture of foreign and home-based athletes for today’s event. Among the foreign-based athletes on ground are Godson Brume, Alaba Akintola, Favour Ashe and Enoch Adegoke. The duo of Usheoritse Itsekiri and Seye Ogunlewe were said to have returned to their base.
The Guardian recalls that Nigeria’s women 4x400m squad succeeded at Yaba Tech, while their male counterparts failed. Despite a good start by Dubem Nwachukwu, which was reinforced by Ezekiel Nathaniel, Samuel Ogazi and Chidi Okezie couldn’t push hard enough to get the run they needed to qualify. They managed a 3.02.64 seconds, which leaves them in the 19th position.
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