The World Athletics has officially confirmed Team Nigeria’s qualification for two out of the five relay events at next month’s World Championships in Oregon.
Team Nigeria will have representation in both the 4x100m Men and the 4x400m Mixed Relay events having squeezed into the top 16 positions in the world albeit with the slowest times among the qualified countries.
For the 4x100m event, Team Nigeria secured qualification from the just concluded National Trials held in Benin-City, Edo State.
The quartet of Favour Ashe, Godson Brume, Alaba Akintola, and reigning World U20 champion, Udodi Onwuzurike on the opening day of action in Benin stormed to a Season’s Best Time of 38.35s.
The winning time helped Nigeria leapfrog South Africa into the 16th position which is the last qualifying spot.
Though there were initial reports suggesting that Nigeria itself was overtaken in the last minute by another African, that has turned out to be false as the World Athletics on Tuesday confirmed Nigeria of her qualification for the event.
Unfortunately, the country’s 4x100m Women’s team who had initially qualified for the World Championships has seen their ticket taken away.
This follows new doping allegations brought against former Nigeria sprint queen Blessing Okagbare.
Okagbare who is now on an extended 11-year ban and three others last year ran a time of 42.97s at the Yabatech Sports Complex, Lagos.
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Initially, that time had kept Nigeria in the last qualification spot up until a few hours before the winding down of the qualification,
But all individual and relay results involving Okagbare, from June 13, 2021, are now disqualified under the rules, which meant Team Nigeria Nigeria dropped to 17th and Canada took the last qualification spot.
For the 4x400m Mixed Relay, Team Nigeria qualified with the 3:13.60s time they recorded about a year ago at the National Stadium, Tokyo, during the Olympic Games.
The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships is scheduled to hold in Eugene, Oregon, the United States from July 15–24.