Nigeria Wins Inaugural 4x400M Mixed Relay Gold

Fireworks lit up the sky at the opening ceremony of the 2021 World Under-20 Athletics Championship at Kasarani on August 17, 2021.
19 August 2021

Team Nigeria lived up to pre-race billings as the 4x400m mixed relay team won the gold medal in a new Championship record time of 3:19.70.

The quartet of Johnson Nnamani, Imaobong Nse Uko, Opeyemi Oke and Bamidele Ajayi also made history as the first winners of the event at the World U20 Championship, beating Poland (3:19.80) and India (3:20.60).

Team Nigeria made one change to the quartet that ran a then championship record of 3:21.66 in the semifinal by bringing in Nse Uko, the fastest girl in the quarter-mile coming to the championship and the 17-year-old didn't disappoint as she handed over the baton to the third leg runner, Oke in first position.

Nse Uko has also qualified for the individual 400m final scheduled for Saturday and stands as the favourite to restore Nigeria as World U20 champions since Bisi Afolabi succeeded Fatimah Yusuf as queen of the quarter-mile in 1994 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Meanwhile, the duo of Godson Oghenebrume and Praise Ofokwu qualified for the 100m men and women's final scheduled for Tuesday. Oghenebrume ran 10.22 seconds to win his semifinal heat while Ofoku was also first in her semifinal heat, clocking 11.57.

In the men's javelin throw, Team Nigeria's Chinecherem Nnamdi throw a massive new personal best and Nigeria U20 record of 78.03 to qualify for the final. The 19-year-old 2019 African Games bronze medal winner added almost 5cm to his previous best of 73.24m to jump to the queue as one of the favourites for the gold medal.

Nigeria has not won a medal in the event at the World U20 Championship and Chinecherem could make history when the final is held on Friday.

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