Olympics trials: Nigeria target relays spots on final day

Nigeria’s relay teams will be hoping to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the final day of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria National Trials at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

With only the women’s 4x100m team – who are placed 16th on the Top List – qualified for the Olympics, the men’s 4x100m, both 4x400m teams and the mixed 4x400m will have to run a faster time to ensure qualification.

The men’s 4x100m – placed 18th in the Top List – will have to run faster than 38.46s to displace Trinidad and Tobago who are 16th, while the men’s 4x400m team – who are 21st on the Top List – will also have to better 16th placed Brazil’s time of 3:02:84.

For the women’s 4x400m – who are 17th on the Top List – their target is to run faster than 16th placed The Dominican Republic with a time of 3:30.02, while the mixed 4x400m team – placed 25th on the Top List – will have to better the time of 3:16.65 ran by 16th placed Belarus.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Nigerian relay team squandered their chance of securing qualification for the relay events at the Olympics when they failed to attend the World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland May 1 and 2.

The Nigerian teams were seen putting finishing touches to their training on Saturday in preparations for Sunday’s race.

Among those who trained are Blessing Okagbare, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha and Favour Ofili in the women’s 4x100m.

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The women’s 4x400m team also trained, with both teams focused majorly on baton exchange.

Meanwhile, in the events held on day three of the National Trials, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the men’s shot put event with a throw of 21.47m, while Dotun Ogundeji placed second with a throw of 19.68m. Eke Kalu was third with a throw of 17.16m.

In the women’s hammer event, African record holder Annette Echikunwoke – who was competing in Nigeria for the first time – won with a throw of 72.06m, ahead of Sade Olatoye and Eucharia Ogbukwu who were second and third respectively with throws of 67.42m and 37.80m.

Earlier, Timothy Emoghene ran a personal best 49.67secs to win the men’s 400m hurdles.

African record holder, Ese Brume, will also be in action in the women’s long jump event on the final day of the trials.

Brume recently leapt a distance of 7.17m to break Chioma Ajunwa’s 25-year African record set at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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