Nigerians are sport loving, the energy they exhibit at any sporting activity as audience or participants can be intoxicating. Anyone hoisting the national colours at sport events knows to do Nigeria proud or break the hearts of millions enthusiasts. Team Nigeria’s women’s 4x200m relay quartet did do Nigeria proud over the weekend, winning the gold medal and a new national and African record on the first day of the 2015 IAAF/BTC World Relays in Bahamas. The quartet has Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh running the race.
USA was the pre-event favourites and looked promising to successfully defend the title from last year. However, efforts of the other duo of Shalonda Solomon and Kimberlyn Duncan was convincing enough to make them gold wearers but a poor final baton exchange between Jeneba Tarmoh and Olympic 200m champion, Allyson Felix cost the Americans the gold as the baton fell to the ground, allowing Nigeria to overtake to win gold.
Nigeria finished the race to claim the gold in 1:30.52. They shoved off two seconds from previous national and African record they had set earlier this year.
Okagbare led the team off the block before she passed the baton to Regina, who then handed over to Duncan before Udoh finished the last lap for Nigeria.
Germany placed third in 1:33.61 while China set an Asian record of 1:34.89 in fourth.
The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama was very happy with the performance of the 4x200m relay team.
“I am very delighted about the performance of our women winning the 4x200m relay in a World leading time of 1:30.52s ahead of all the leading nations – USA, Jamaica, Bahamas, France, Germany, China and Ireland.
“I had said it before now that we can rely on these women to showcase our prowess in the relays and they have not disappointed me,” stated the AFN technical director.