Nigeria finished the World Athletics Championship with a world record in women’s 100m hurdles, the feat achieved by Tobi Amusan in 12.06m to win gold having smashed the world record earlier in the semi-final with a time of 12.12 seconds.
She was joined in the victory trail by dubbed ‘Africa Flight Queen’ Ese Brume in the Long Jump event in 7.02m leaped to take home the silver medal, her second title at the World Athletics Championship having won bronze at the event in Doha, Qatar 2019.
But unsung heroine are the Nigeria’s 4 x 100m women’s team that shattered the 30 years African record in the final.
The Nigerian ladies were hanged the far lane running in lane 8, the quartet of Joy Udo- Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha were gallant and did clock 42.22 seconds as they finished 4th in the final to break the long stood record.
The sterling effort of the Nigeria quartet is likened to Nigeria’s Olympic bronze medal winning women’s 4 x 100m team. Although, they slightly missed out of the podium as they were beaten to bronze by Germany parading Tatjana Pinto, Alexandra Burghardt, Gina Luckenkemper and Rebekka Haase in a time of 42.03 seconds being a season best for the Germans.
The ‘Reggae girls’, Jamaica obviously always a contender for the title were beaten to the second position with double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson –Herah the lead, 5 time world 100m champion, Shelly –Ann Fraser-Pryce and Sherick Jackson the world fastest 200m woman completing the star studded quartet. They won the silver in a season’s best of 41.18 seconds.
The host US was a surprise winner as some pundits predicted it will go to Jamaica, but US parading Mellissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini and Twanisha Terry blazed the lead to win the gold medal.
Although, Nigeria finished 4th but exciting thing to take away from the quartet was their pace and drive despite running in a difficult lane to beat the record that won Nigeria bronze at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
With the spectacular achievement Nigeria’s women 4 x 100m relay team, comprising Udo-Gabriel, Ofili, Chukwuma and Nwokocha are proud ambassadors to have shattered the 42.39 seconds African record set by Nigeria in heat at the 1992 Olympics in Spain.
In similar character of the current team, Beatrice Utondu, Faith Idehen, Christy Opara-Thompson and women African 100m legend Mary Onyali made up the team that won bronze in the final.
The country had also got closer to 4 x 100m medal at the World Athletics Championships in 1991 with the team comprising Beatrice Utondu, Rufina Ubah, Mary Onyali- Omagbemi and Christy Opara- Thompson placing 4th at the 1991 edition in Tokyo Japan.
Endurance Ojokolo, Mercy Nku, Mary- Onyali-Omagbemi and Chioma Ajunwa also did match the fourth place status in 2001 edition in Edmonton, Canada.
Meanwhile, as the quest to break the jinx continues with Nigeria placing fourth, the country’s highest achievement at World Athletics Championships in women’s 4 x100m. It might not take long before the country win a medal in the women’s 4 x 100m at the world meet, especially the next world athletics championship, But for the country win medals, its sports stakeholder must carry out their responsibilities well considering the rising profile, intensity of their runners and talents that are bound in the West Africa’s sports hub.