Nigeria’s relay team takes final battle for ticket to Cotonou
After two unsuccessful attempts, Team Nigeria men’s 4x100m relay squad will depart Lagos for Cotonou, Benin Republic, today in search of of a ticket to the Budapest 2023 World Championships.
Two weeks ago in Lome, Togo, Nigeria’s 4x100m men team ran 38.72 seconds to move a step closer to the qualification spot. They improved to 38.56 seconds during the semifinal of the Deji Tinubu/Lagos Series on Friday at Yaba College of Technology, only to flop in the final of the event, running 38.78 seconds to remain in the 17th position on the qualification race.
Their women counterparts succeeded at Yabatech, grabbing the 4x400m ticket to bring to three the number of relay events the country has secured so far. Team Nigeria had secured qualification in the women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay.
However, another opportunity is open for the men’s 4x100m relay team in Cotonou on July 20.
President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, told The Guardian, yesterday, that the men’s 4x100m squad would depart for Cotonou today.
“It was unfortunate our men’s 4x100m relay team couldn’t secure the ticket at Yabatech last Friday, but I am optimistic they will get it this time in Cotonou,” Okowa stated.
Athletes expected to make the trip to Cotonou include Ashe Favour, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Alaba Akintola, Seye Ogunlewe and Godson Brume.
It was learnt, yesterday, that the men’s 4x400m squad, which failed to grab their qualification ticket at the same competition last Friday, will not be part of the trip to Cotonou.
The Guardian recalls that despite a good start by U.S.-based Dubem Nwachukwu, which was reinforced by Ezekiel Nathaniel, the duo of 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 finish, which left them in the 19th position.
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