Nigeria's relay teams record impressive times in their quests for World Championships tickets

Nigeria's relay teams record impressive times in their quests for World Championships tickets

Funmilayo Fameso 18:33 - 08.07.2023

Nigeria's relay teams clocked impressive times in their pursuit of securing World Championships spots in Budapest.

Nigeria's relay teams began their quest of securing World Championships tickets on a good note at the African Region II Championships in Togo.

The men's 4x100m quartet of Udodi Onwuzurike, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Alaba Akintola, and Seye Ogunlewe clocked a Season's Best time of 38.73s to win the event in Lome.

Team Nigeria's men's 4x100m quartet of Udodi Onwuzurike, Seye Ogunlewe, Usheoritse Itsekiri, and Alaba Akintola (L-R)

Their time places them from 21st on the top list to joint 18th with Belgium. They will need to run 38.49s to stand any chance of qualifying for Budapest, which will see them overtake Australia occupying the 16th position with 38.50s.

In the men's 4x400m, the quartet of Dubem Nwachukwu, Ezekiel Nathaniel, Samuel Ogazi, and Chidi Okezie were also impressive, clocking an SB of 3:02.91.

The time is the fastest by a Nigerian quartet since July 2012, and pushed them to 18th on the world's top list.

Team Nigeria's quartet of Dubem Nwachukwu, Samuel Ogazi, Ezekiel Nathaniel, and Chidi Okezie (L-R)

However, the quartet still needs to run faster than Barbados (3:02.12) and Dominican Republic (3:02.19), who occupy the 15th and 16th positions respectively to be guaranteed a spot in Budapest.

Finally, the women's 4x400m quartet of Imaobong Uko, Patience Okon-George, Queen Usunobun, and Omolara Ogunmakinju stormed to an SB of 3:29.09 to move just outside the last qualifying team on the qualifying spot.

Team Nigeria's quartet of Omolara Ogunmakinju, Queen Usunobun, Patience Okon-George, and Imaobong Uko

Team Nigeria is 17th on the ranking and will need to run faster than Botswana's 3:28.79.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) will have to make sure the teams run in more qualifying races before the end of July to stand a chance of moving up the ranking, as more countries are also bidding to be among the top 16 teams that'll secure their spots at the World Championships.

Only Nigeria's women's 4x100m and 4x400m mixed relay teams have guaranteed spots due to getting to the final at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.