For the third consecutive edition Team Nigeria has failed to make it to the podium as the curtains were drawn on the biennial 15th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland yesterday.
Sprinter Gloria Asumnu crashed Nigeria’s final hope of a podium appearance when she finished seventh in the 60m final, one step lower her sixth place finish two years ago in Istanbul, Turkey at the 14th edition of the championships.
The reigning African 200m queen had raised hopes of a possible upset when in the semi-final when she ran 7.11 seconds to place second behind Cote D’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure (7.06).She was however blown away by the strong field which included double sprints champions at the IAAF World outdoor Championships in Moscow, Russia last year, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce who won the title in 6.98 seconds and Ahoure who came second.
Earlier in the day the women’s 4x400m relay team failed to replicate in the final the 3:29.67 African Indoor Record they ran in the semi-final as they finished last.
Quartermiler, Regina George had raised Nigeria’s biggest hope for a medal when she ran 51.60 seconds, the fastest time in the first round to qualify for the semi-finals.She however mysteriously failed to come out for the semi-final with no official explanation on the reason for her action.
Shot Putter, Stephen Mozia failed to live up to pre-championships billings as he crashed out in the qualifying round with a rather pedestrian put of 18.91m,a far cry from the 20.79m personal best he achieved penultimate weekend at a collegiate championships in the United States of America.
Mozia only last week officially switched his allegiance to Nigeria, his country of origin from USA, his country of birth who he represented two years ago at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
The men’s 4x400m relay team also failed to make it beyond the first round despite running a new 3:07.95 African Indoor Record.
The last time Nigeria made it to the podium was at the 12th edition in Valencia, Spain where Olusoji Fasuba made history as the first African sprinter to win the 60m gold.