Team Nigeria claimed gold medal in a World Lead time in a dramatic Women’s 4x200m race at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas on Sunday morning.
The quartet of Dominique Duncan, Regina George, Christiana Udoh and Blessing Okagbare emerged victorious in 1:30.52secs (WL) in a race that saw both host nation, Bahamas, and 2014 winners, United States of America (USA) disqualified.
World bronze medallist Okagbare set off the team’s pace and then passed the baton to George, Duncan and Christy.
Jamaica- featuring the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown- claimed runners-up berth in 1:31.73secs, while Germany were promoted from fourth to third with a time of 1:33.61secs, after the Bahamas- originally second- were disqualified for rule infringement. China finished in an Asian Record time and the Republic of Ireland clocked a National Record.
The inclusion of reigning Commonwealth 100m and 200m sprint champion Okagbare was always going to serve as a threat for the highly rated American and Jamaican lineup, but with France failing at the first exchange and the Bahamians passing the baton outside the takeover zone at the second; it was all Team Nigeria’s race to lose.
The last piece of the drama culminated with a slip up in the last exchange involving Tarmoh and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix. The latter most successful athlete in the relay floundered in her attempt to get a solid grip on the baton as Tarmoh then bumped into her before She fell to the ground.
Meanwhile, Nigeria failed to advance into the medal final of the women’s 4x400m after finishing with the tenth best time (3:32.16), fourth in Heat 1 behind Australia, France and Cuba in the Women’s 4x400m.
The team which includes Tosin Adeloye, Margaret Bamgbose, Regina George, Dominique Duncan, Ibukun Blessing Mayungbe, Rita Ossai and Florence Uwakwe will compete in the Final B event on Sunday.
Team Nigeria men struggle continues
Nigeria Did Not Start (DNS) in the Men’s 4x100m race, which was won by the USA in a Cometition Record 37.38secs, ahead of Jamaica- with Usain Bolt in the fold- (37.68) and Japan (38.20).
The Nigerian men also put up a lackluster performance in the 4x400m race as they clocked 3:06.92secs to finish in 18th position without a chance of participating in the classification final today.
The IAAF World Relays return on Monday morning (GMT +1) with the Women’s 4x400m and 4x100m showcasing Nigerian interests, as well as the Men’s 4x200m heats.