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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Amusan guides Team Nigeria to victory in Bahamas

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World record holder Tobi Amusan headlines the 29 athletes confirmed to represent Nigeria at the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 2024.

The global event will see 893 athletes from 54 countries compete in Nassau on 4-5 May as confirmed by World Athletics on Tuesday.

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Amusan has been instrumental in Nigeria’s recent success in the women’s 4x100m relay, securing gold at both the African Games and Commonwealth Games (though the latter was later rescinded due to a doping infraction on another member of the relay team).

She joins a strong women’s contingent that includes Favour Ofili (Nigeria’s 200m record holder), Rosemary Chukwuma, Justina Eyakpobeyan, Tima Godbless, Elo Blessing, and African Games double sprint medalist Olayinka Olajide.

A surprising omission from the men’s 4x100m team list is Favour Ashe, Nigeria’s fastest man this year with two sub-10 second finishes (9.96 and 9.99).

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The 21-year-old Auburn University student has been in excellent outdoor form, yet his name is absent from the final entry list released by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

No reason has been provided for his exclusion though sources suggest the sprinter was not released by his school to be in the Bahamas.

With this development, Godson Oghenebrume and Udodi Onwuzurike will lead Nigeria’s charge in the men’s 4x100m, joined by Alaba Akintola, Karlington Anunagba, Consider Ekanem, Seye Ogunlewe, and Israel Okon Sunday.

Their goal is to secure a top-14 finish and earn a coveted lane in Paris for the upcoming Olympics, a feat Nigeria hasn’t achieved since the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

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Quartermilers

In the men’s 4x400m, African Games champion Chidi Okezie leads the fight for a return to the Olympics since 2004 in Athens Greece.

Joining him are Sikiru Adeyemi, Dubem Amene, Ezekiel Nathaniel and his brother Samson Nathaniel, Dubem Nwanchukwu, Samuel Ogazi, and Ifeanyi Ojeli.

The women’s 4x400m squad boasts Omolara Ogunmakinju, the African Games hero who turned silver into gold for Nigeria in the mixed relay last month.

She’ll be joined by the rapidly improving Ella Onojuvwevwo (recent 51.32 personal best), African Games silver medalist Elo Joseph (three sub-52 second runs in Accra), and veteran Patience Okon George.

With the World Relays serving as the primary Olympic qualifier for relay events, the top 14 finishers will automatically secure their spots in Paris this Summer.

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